Abstract

The bone marrow and peripheral blood of 14 patients with multiple myeloma were studied with murine monoclonal antibodies that identify antigens on plasma cells (R1–3 and OKT10). Peripheral blood lymphocytes expressing plasma cell antigens were found in six cases. Five of these cases expressed the same antigens that were present on the plasma cells in the bone marrow. Patients that showed such peripheral blood involvement were found to have a larger tumor burden and higher bone marrow plasma cell proliferative activity. In some patients, antigens normally found at earlier stages of B cell differentiation (B1, B2, and J5) were expressed by peripheral blood lymphocytes and/or bone marrow plasma cells.

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