Abstract

Mrs. A. is a 73-year-old woman who has developed increasing fatigue and lower back pain over the past year. The pain limits her exercise tolerance such that she can now walk only 1 block. She is a retired schoolteacher who does volunteer efforts in her community but has limited her activities due to fatigue. Karnofsky performance status is 70%. She has a history of chronic hypertension treated with a diuretic, adult-onset diabetes mellitus treated with metformin, and hypothyroidism treated with levothyroxine. Initial evaluation reveals anemia, renal dysfunction, an elevated total protein, and an L2 compression fracture on lumbosacral radiographs. Results of initial and subsequent evaluation are shown below, and she is referred to a hematologist for further evaluation, which revealed the following: calcium 9.0 mg/dL, creatinine 3.2 mg/dL with estimated creatinine clearance using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease equation of 15 mL/min, hemoglobin 9.6 g/dL, total protein 11 g/dL, albumin 3.2 g/dL, immunoglobulin A (IgA) λ M protein 6.8 g/dL, total IgA 7.2 g/dL, IgG 0.4g/dL, IgM 0.03 g/dL, free κ <0.01 mg/L, free λ 1000 mg/L, serum free light chain ratio <0.01, β-2–microglobulin 4.2, viscosity 3.0, lactate dehydrogenase 200 U/L, urine protein electrophoresis: 125 mg/dL with 30% M protein, and urine immunofixation: λ light chain. Skeletal bone survey showed lytic lesions in femurs and humeri and diffusely in ribs bilaterally as well as compression fractures at T4, T6, and L2. Bone marrow biopsy revealed λ-restricted plasma cells comprising 50% of the bone marrow core. Fluorescence in situ hybridization testing on marrow showed that del 17p was present in 80% of the plasma cells. Mrs. A. is informed of the diagnosis of multiple myeloma and the need for therapy. She requests consultation with 2 of the leading world experts. However, she wants to be treated near her home and does not want treatment on a clinical trial.

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