I get quite a few questions about serum-free light chain assay testing. When questions like this get technical, I refer readers to an expert.
Dr. Rajkumar with Mayo Clinic has written several articles about the topic for the International Myeloma Foundation’s (IMF) newsletter. But the best explanation I have ever read is by Dr. Noopur Raje, the Director of Mass General’s Multiple Myeloma Program.
Here is an excerpt from an article she wrote recently for the online multiple myeloma resource for medical professionals, Managing Myeloma:
Hello, I am Noopur Raje and I am the director for the Center of Multiple Myeloma at Massachusetts General Hospital and I am an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. A question which I am often asked is the significance of the serum-free light chain assay in the diagnostic workup for multiple myeloma.
The serum-free light chain assay is pretty similar to sending off protein studies or doing a serum protein electrophoresis, it is an additional test which we have now incorporated in fact in both the International Myeloma Working Group diagnostic criteria as well as a part of the NCCN criteria. The reason for doing this is there is about 10% or 12% of myeloma patients who do not produce the heavy chain but in fact would produce only the light chains…
There’s more. Here is a LINK to her article. Give it a look if you have a few minutes. It isn’t very long, but it explains a lot.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat