The family of suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) proteins negatively regulates cytokine signaling in different cellular pathways including interleukin-6 (IL-6). Since IL-6 plays an essential role in regulating growth and survival of multiple myeloma (MM) cells, methylation-associated dysregulation of SOCS3 may contribute to the malignant phenotype of MM cells. We used methylation-specific PCR (MSP) to assess the methylation status of the SOCS3 CpG island in five MM cell lines and 70 patient samples. Additional bisulfite sequencing and RNA expression analysis using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction was performed in two cell lines. We identified aberrant SOCS3 methylation in 3/5 MM cell lines. Methylation of SOCS3 in cell lines was associated with transcriptional downregulation. Treatment of OPM-2 cells, which carry a methylated SOCS3 gene, with the demethylating agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine restored SOCS3 expression in association with partial demethylation. In patient samples with malignant plasma cell disorders, SOCS3 was methylated in 5/70 (7.1 %) cases, while there was no aberrant SOCS3 methylation in normal peripheral blood and non-malignant bone marrow cells. We found an association of SOCS3 methylation with extramedullary manifestations (p = 0.03), plasma cell leukemia (p = 0.003), elevated LDH (p = 0.001), increased creatinine ( p = 0.01) and remarkably shortened survival (6.9 vs. 56.1 months, HR 5.9, p = 0.0007). Our findings reveal a novel epigenetic event possibly implicated in the pathogenesis of MM and representing a potential prognostic biomarker. Epigenetic dysregulation of the SOCS3 gene may interfere with the cellular response to the complex cytokine network thus supporting survival and expansion of MM cells.