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The Understanding Serum Free Light Chain and Serum Heavy/Light Chain Assays booklet is devoted to two tests used in the diagnosis and monitoring of myeloma, the serum free light chain assay (Freelite®) and the serum heavy/light chain assay (Hevylite®).
Changes in Freelite levels are useful for tracking the disease status in almost all people with myeloma, not just those with light chain (Bence Jones) myeloma or nonsecretory disease. The Freelite test can help in the detection and monitoring of myeloma by quantifying monoclonal protein in multiple disease settings. While the Freelite test quantifies free light chains, the Hevylite test quantifies the intact (or whole) heavy and light chain pairsinvolved in a patient's myeloma.
Myeloma cells from a single patient can produce multiple clones that may produce intact immunoglobulins, free light chains, or both. Since Freelite and Hevylite are independent biomarkers of disease activity, it is important to monitor patients with both tests. Given the heterogeneity of clones in an individual patient’s myeloma, these two assays, when used together, are complementary.