Prognostic value of pretreatment serum β2 microglobulin in myeloma: A Southwest Oncology Group Study

B. G.M. Durie, D. Stock-Novack, S. E. Salmon, P. Finley, J. Beckord, J. Crowley, C. A. Coltman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Scopus citations


Six hundred twelve eligible, previously untreated patients with active multiple myeloma and at least some data available for analysis were entered into a randomized trial (Southwest Oncology Group [SWOG] Phase III myeloma study 8229/30), in which the prognostic significance of pretreatment serum β2 microglobulin levels was evaluated. Because there was no statistically significant survival difference between the alternating and syncopating VMCP/VBAP regimens, it was possible to evaluate serum β2 microglobulin for the total population all together. The serum β2 microglobulin measurements showed the highest significance of any prognostic factor, both in the bivariate and multivariate regression analyses. The median survival was 36 months for the 322 patients with pretreatment serum β2 microglobulin values of < 6 μg/mL, as compared with a median survival of 23 months for the 225 patients with a β2 level of ≥ 6 mcg/mL (P < .0001). The stepwise multiple regression model first contained serum β2 microglobulin, followed by serum albumin, serum calcium, age, and serum creatinine. Serum β2 microglobulin was highly correlated with stage: median values ranged from 3.7 μg/mL for stage IA, to 10.1 for stage IIIB. It was possible to stratify myeloma patients based on combinations of serum β2 microglobulin with both albumin and age, producing excellent separation of patients into low-, intermediate-, and high-risk categories. It is concluded that serum β2 microglobulin is the most powerful prognostic factor currently available for multiple myeloma and that it can be used alone or in combination with other variables for pretreatment stratification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-830
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Prognostic value of pretreatment serum β2 microglobulin in myeloma: A Southwest Oncology Group Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this