Serum free light chain analysis in the diagnosis and management of multiple myeloma and related conditions

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The serum free light chain (FLC) assay is an important tool in the management of patients with monoclonal gammopathies. MEDLINE®, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews from January 2000 through July 2013, were used as data sources. The available evidence is rather weak. For screening of multiple myeloma and related conditions, the association of the FLC assay with the traditional serum tests avoids urine study. Screening for immunoglobulin light-chain (AL) amyloidosis or other rare syndromes requires the urine examination. FLC measurement is used in the assessment of the risk of progression of precursor diseases to overt myeloma, and for risk stratification in solitary plasmacytoma, multiple myeloma and AL amyloidosis. In patients with oligosecretory myeloma and AL amyloidosis, the quantification of FLC is essential for monitoring and categorization of response to therapy. Further studies with improved design are warranted to strengthen the available evidence.

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