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Multiple myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer of the lymphatic system that consists of a proliferation of plasma cells. These cells produce the antibodies that protect us from infections and other foreign substances that might enter our organism (antigens).

Plasma cells are normally found in small amounts in the bone marrow; if they grow out of control, they invade normal bone marrow and destroy the surrounding bone, producing “holes” called osteolytic lesions or intense diffuse osteoporosis in the bone.

Under normal conditions the plasma cells recognize the foreign antigens and proliferate for a time to produce more antibodies. When the agent disappears, the cell proliferation and antibody production ceases. However, in multiple myeloma, the plasma cells form tumors since they produce antibodies continuously and in large amounts. In this case, the antibodies are called paraproteins or monoclonal components and can be detected in the blood or urine of the patient with multiple myeloma.


  • LIG4