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Blood. 2001 Apr 15;97(8):2522-3.

A high bone marrow plasma cell labeling index in stable plateau-phase multiple myeloma is a marker for early disease progression and death.

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Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


The plasma cell labeling index (PCLI) is a measure of plasma cell proliferative activity and is an important prognostic factor in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM). Occasionally patients have been observed with stable, plateau phase MM with minimal numbers of residual light-chain-restricted monoclonal plasma cells, but a high PCLI. No data are available on the outcomes for such patients. Data from 57 patients with plateau phase MM and a marrow PCLI of more than 1.0% were compared with 105 matched control patients with MM with a marrow PCLI of less than 1.0%. All patients had less than 10% total plasma cells on marrow aspirate and biopsy. The median time to progression and overall survival were 8 months and 20 months, respectively, in the high PCLI group versus 39 months and 56 months, respectively, in the low PCLI group (P < .0001). These findings suggest that a high PCLI in patients with apparently stable, plateau phase MM is an adverse parameter that may predict a short time to disease progression and death.

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