Stages of Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is divided into stages, depending on the severity of the disease. They are:

  1. MGUS, Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance.

    Some people may produce small amounts of the same immunoglobulin (monoclonal gammopathy) as multiple myeloma but not have any other symptoms or complications of multiple myeloma.

    About one percent per year of patients with MGUS will develop multiple myeloma.

    Understanding Pre-Myeloma (MGUS)
    (10:56 minutes)
  2. What is Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)? (11:34 minutes)

  3. Smoldering, or asymptomatic stage 1, or indolent multiple myeloma

    Do not have any of the CRAB symptoms: elevated Calcium levels, reduced Renal (kidney) function, Anemia, or Bone damage.

    The multiple myeloma usually does not require any treatment (with some exceptions). It is a time of close testing and monitoring.

    Mayo article by Dr. Martha Lacy

  4. Stage I: A lighter stage, with a relatively small number of myeloma cells. Testing albumin and beta-2 microglobulin (ß2M)

    Albumin = 3.5 g/dL and ß2M < 3.5 mg/L

    Bone X-rays show no damage or only one area of damage.

  5. Stage II: An intermediate stage

    Albumin < 3.5 g/dL and ß2M < 3.5 mg/L; or ß2M = 3.5 mg/L and < 5.5 mg/L

  6. Stage III: a high number of myeloma cells, the most advanced state.

    X-rays or other scans show more than three areas of bone destruction.

    Stage III of multiple myeloma is has high levels of beta-2 microglobulin and low levels of albumin.

    ß2M = 5.5 mg/L

    At this stage, multiple myeloma is an aggressive disease that may affect bone, kidneys and other organs.



Testing for Multiple Myeloma