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Understanding Your Test Results

This booklet outlines the tests that are used to diagnose and monitor myeloma, and to detect response and relapse. No single study is adequate to tell the whole story about a patient’s status but, used together, test results give a more complete picture. 



the contents given are useful in understanding for the patients family members to know what the doctors are doing . this will also help the patients family members to educate themselves about the diagnosis and treatment which will help the treatment process more simple in understanding between doctors and patients family members and treatment can be taken in proper steps by doctors and the same can be followed by the patients family members in taking care of the patient throughout the treatment time.

How often should these tests be performed?

The CBC (complete blood count), chem panel, SPEP, IFE, Freelite test, UPEP, FISH, cytogenetics, and imaging studies should be done at diagnosis as a baseline and for staging. Thereafter, patients with active myeloma should be monitored monthly while on therapy. Tests vary according to the doctor's preferences and the patient's situation. Sometimes the CBC is done weekly or biweekly to make sure that medications are not taking a toll on the blood counts. Serum creatinine should be done prior to each infusion of bisphosphonate therapy to make sure the kidneys are not being affected by that treatment. Tests used for monitoring response to treatment vary a bit, depending on the characteristics of an individual patient's myeloma (for example, patients who secrete only light chain protein would be monitored with the Freelite assay, while those who secrete intact protein with heavy and light chains would be monitored with SPEP). Imaging studies should be repeated annually, unless there is a need to perform one sooner than that. Please call the hotline at 800-452-2873 if you need help determining what's appropriate in your situation.

can you explain the chromosome 13 deletion. Have I always had this or does it occur at the onset of the disease?

You can contact the IMF Hotline at 800-452-2873 M-Th: 9-4 PST Fri: 9-2 PST.

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