M-CSF May Act As Powerful Prognostic Factor For Multiple Myeloma


A recent study published in the journal Medical Oncology determined that the cytokine M-CSF is highly predictive of survival in multiple myeloma patients. In the study, researchers evaluated a diverse set of cytokines to determine their usefulness as prognostic factors in multiple myeloma.

Cytokines are proteins secreted by immune cells to generate an immune response. They are involved with allergic responses, inflammation, blood cell development, and the development of multiple myeloma and other types of cancer.

Currently, the International Staging System predicts the stage of disease progression and median survival time for multiple myeloma based on a combination of serum beta-2 microglobulin and albumin levels. Beta-2 microglobulin is a molecule commonly found on the surface of cells; serum albumin is the most abundant protein in human blood plasma. Elevated serum levels of beta-2 microglobulin and low serum levels of albumin indicate increased disease severity and progression of myeloma (see related Beacon news).

The study published in Medical Oncology evaluated the relationship between the blood serum levels of various cytokines in 64 untreated myeloma patients and the patients’ survival rates. Patients were followed up over a period of over seven years. The serum beta-2 microglobulin level was increased in 40 percent of patients, whereas the serum albumin level was low in 45 percent of patients.

Researchers observed a relationship between the cytokine M-CSF and patient survival rates. Patients with normal M-CSF levels had a median survival time of 780 days, while patients with elevated M-CSF concentrations had a median survival time of 155 days.

Most significantly, M-CSF more accurately predicted disease severity and progression than beta-2 microglobulin, which is the established prognostic factor for myeloma.

The authors of the study concluded that M-CSF is a powerful prognostic factor for multiple myeloma and should be considered in novel therapeutic treatments.