Serum free light chain response after 2 courses of induction chemotherapy predicts prognosis in myeloma patients

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk. 2015 Feb;15(2):98-102. doi: 10.1016/j.clml.2014.08.007. Epub 2014 Sep 21.


Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic effect of serum free light chain (sFLC) response after 2 cycles of first-line chemotherapy (CT) in multiple myeloma (MM) patients.

Materials and methods: The data of 78 newly diagnosed MM patients who had sFLC levels at diagnosis and after 2 cycles of first-line CT were included in the study. The prognostic effect of sFLCs were evaluated with normalization of sFLC κ/λ ratio after 2 cycles of CT and involved/uninvolved (i/u) sFLCs.

Results: At the end of follow-up the probability of overall survival (OS) was 95.7% versus 68.5% in patients with and without normalized sFLC κ/λ ratio, respectively (P = .072). The probability of OS with i/u sFLC assessment was 97.4% versus 55.8% with regard to i/u sFLC ≤ 10 and > 10, respectively (P = .001). In univariate and multivariate analysis including sFLC ratio, age, sex, and International Staging System, i/u sFLC ratio > 10 after 2 cycles of CT was identified as an independent risk factor for OS (P = .015; hazard ratio [HR], 13.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.668-104.65 vs. P = .011; HR, 15.17; 95% CI, 1.85-123.89).

Conclusion: Early response assessment in terms of sFLC after 2 courses of induction CT seems to have a prognostic effect in MM patients. The methodology and timing of the evaluation based on sFLCs needs to be validated in prospective studies.

Keywords: Multiple myeloma; Overall survival (OS); Response; Therapy; Treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains / blood*
  • Induction Chemotherapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / blood*
  • Multiple Myeloma / drug therapy*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains