Interference of daratumumab in monitoring multiple myeloma patients using serum immunofixation electrophoresis can be abrogated using the daratumumab IFE reflex assay (DIRA)

Clin Chem Lab Med. 2016 Jun 1;54(6):1105-9. doi: 10.1515/cclm-2015-0888.


Daratumumab is a fully human anti-CD38 IgG1-κ monoclonal antibody (mAb) currently being evaluated in several Phase 2 and 3 clinical studies for the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM). In this clinical case study we demonstrate that daratumumab can be detected as an individual monoclonal band in serum immunofixation electrophoresis (IFE). M-protein follow-up by IFE is part of the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) criteria to assess treatment response. Therefore, it is crucial that the daratumumab band is not confused with the endogenous M-protein of the patient during IFE interpretation. Moreover, a significant number of IgG-κ M-proteins co-migrate with daratumumab. Co-migration introduces a bias in the M-protein quantification since pharmacokinetic studies show that daratumumab peak plasma concentrations reach up to 1 g/L. More importantly, co-migration can mask clearance of the M-protein by IFE which is necessary for classification of complete response by IMWG criteria (negative serum IFE). For optimal M-protein monitoring the laboratory specialist needs to be informed when patients receive daratumumab, and it is essential that the laboratory specialist is aware that a slow migrating band in the γ-region in those patients may be derived from the daratumumab. A daratumumab specific IFE reflex assay (DIRA) has been developed and can be utilized to abrogate interference. The here described mAb interference is not limited to daratumumab, and as therapeutic antibodies gain approval and enter into common clinical practice, laboratory specialists will need additional processes to characterize IFE interference and distinguish endogenous M-protein from therapeutic antibodies.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Protein Electrophoresis
  • Cross Reactions
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay / methods*
  • Immunoelectrophoresis
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin kappa-Chains / blood
  • Immunoglobulin lambda-Chains / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / diagnosis*
  • Multiple Myeloma / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Myeloma / immunology
  • Myeloma Proteins / analysis


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin kappa-Chains
  • Immunoglobulin lambda-Chains
  • Myeloma Proteins
  • daratumumab