Immunoglobulin light-chain amyloidosis: growing recognition, new approaches to therapy, active clinical trials

Oncology (Williston Park). 2012 Feb;26(2):152-61.


Immunoglobulin light-chain amyloidosis needs to be considered in any patient presenting with cardiomyopathy with preserved systolic function, heavy albuminuria, an unexplained sensorimotor peripheral neuropathy, hepatomegaly, or atypical MGUS (monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance) or myeloma.The prognosis of the disease is determined by the levels of cardiac biomarkers and the pretreatment levels of immunoglobulin free light chains. All patients with systemic light-chain amyloid require therapy. There is no presymptomatic phase that warrants observation. Stem-cell transplantation produces a high response rate but is a viable option in only 20% of patients. Corticosteroids, alkylating agents, immunomodulatory drugs, and proteasome inhibitors all have shown activity in this disorder, and combinations are currently being explored in clinical trials. Despite advances in the past decade, 30% of patients still die within a year of diagnosis, suggesting that failure to recognize this disorder prior to advanced organ dysfunction remains a major impediment to improving outcomes.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amyloidosis / diagnosis
  • Amyloidosis / drug therapy*
  • Amyloidosis / mortality
  • Boronic Acids / therapeutic use
  • Bortezomib
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains / metabolism*
  • Lenalidomide
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Pyrazines / therapeutic use
  • Thalidomide / analogs & derivatives
  • Thalidomide / therapeutic use


  • Boronic Acids
  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains
  • Pyrazines
  • Thalidomide
  • Bortezomib
  • Lenalidomide