Multiple myeloma stages provide important information that can be used by physicians to determine the most appropriate form of treatment for a patient. The condition may be staged through either of two systems: the traditional Durie-Salmon staging system or the more recently developed International Staging System for Multiple Myeloma.
The Durie-Salmon staging system
The Durie-Salmon staging system classifies multiple myeloma into three categories – stages 1, 2 and 3 – that correspond to low, intermediate and high malignant plasma cell masses, respectively. These multiple myeloma stages are based on four key factors:
- Level of monoclonal protein in the blood or urine – This abnormal protein is produced by malignant plasma cells.
- Amount of calcium in the blood – Because bone destruction releases calcium into the blood, a high blood calcium level can indicate advanced bone damage related to multiple myeloma.
- Severity of bone damage – Bone damage is usually readily apparent in X-rays; multiple areas can be indicative of advanced multiple myeloma.
- Amount of hemoglobin in the blood – A low level of hemoglobin (which carries oxygen to red blood cells) indicates anemia, which can result when malignant plasma cells in the bone marrow crowd out healthy cells that produce red blood cells.
The International Staging System for Multiple Myeloma
The International Staging System for Multiple Myeloma includes three stages that are determined based on the serum beta-2 microglobulin and serum albumin levels in the blood. These proteins are associated with conditions that cause rapid cellular turnover. The stages are categorized as follows:
- Stage 1 – Serum beta-2 microglobulin level measuring less than 3.5 (mg/L) with an albumin level measuring 3.5 (g/dL) or greater
- Stage 2 – Determined in two ways: (1) Serum beta-2 microglobulin level measuring between 3.5 and 5.5 or (2) serum beta-2 microglobulin level measuring less than 3.5 with an albumin level measuring less than 3.5
- Stage 3 – Serum beta-2 microglobulin level measuring 5.5 or greater
At Moffitt Cancer Center, the physicians in our Malignant Hematology Program specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of multiple myeloma and other forms of hematologic cancer. We offer patients a high level of multispecialty, individualized care, as well as a full range of advanced treatment options to address all multiple myeloma stages. For instance, a patient’s treatment plan may include radiation therapy, chemotherapy and/or bone marrow transplants.
Whether you are experiencing initial symptoms, seeking a second opinion or are exploring treatment options for various multiple myeloma stages, you are welcome to consult with the cancer experts at Moffitt with or without a referral. Contact us by calling 1-888-663-3488 or completing our new patient registration form.