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Potential Myeloma Clinical Marker: Study of Calprotectin Generates Interest

By: Celeste L. Dixon
Posted: Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Study results published in PLOS One reveal the possibility that fecal calprotectin may prove to be a noninvasive biomarker to evaluate inflammation in patients with multiple myeloma. Increased levels of inflammatory cytokines appear to be potential indicators of response to treatment, disease severity, and even predictors of disease recurrence, according to Saeid Abroun, PhD, of Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran, and colleagues.

The team’s hospital-based case control study involved three patient groups: those newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma (n = 40), those already undergoing treatment of the disease (n = 28), and healthy controls (n = 25). Significant differences (P = .001) were found among the calprotectin levels collected from morning stool samples, in which values higher than 50 μg/g indicated inflammation.

Mean calprotectin levels in the new-patient, in-treatment, and control groups were 301.3, 165.1, and 36.9 μg/g, respectively. In addition, stated the authors, the study results “showed [that] with increasing age and plasma cells, calprotectin value also showed a significant increase.” Furthermore, patient data revealed “a direct relationship between stool calprotectin concentration and other clinical biomarkers such as acute phase proteins, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and gamma globulin (in serum electrophoresis).”

Dr. Abroun and co-investigators also noted that decreases in calprotectin concentration in the new-patient group, after they received treatment, was associated with “the entry of these patients into the remission stage. On the other hand, a noticeable increase in calprotectin in one patient under treatment (after 24 months of treatment) was associated with symptoms of disease recurrence (increase in graded dysplasias, anemia, and peak gamma).”

A study limitation was its small size and incomplete data. Thus, the team stressed the need for more research in this area.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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