Plasma cells are differentiated B-lymphocytes that are specialised in producing immunoglobulin. A plasma cell neoplasm is formed by the uncontrolled expansion of a single clone of these cells. The most commonly encountered malignancy is the plasma cell myeloma (or multiple myeloma), which by itself accounts for about 10-15% of haematological malignancy. Other important entities include:
- Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance
- Solitary plasmacytoma
- Primary amyloidosis
Plasma Cell Myeloma
Myeloma is an uncommon malignancy, accounting for 1% of all cancers and 10-15% of haematological tumours. It is slightly more common in men; it never occurs in children and most patients are aged over 50 (median age 70). There is an 4-fold increased of myeloma in first degree relatives with myeloma.
Although most patients have no identifiable cause, there is a suggestion that chronic exposure to occupational antigens or radiation may be a contributing factor.
Myeloma is typically widespread at diagnosis.
Aetiology and Pathogenesis
Individual causative factors
Modes of spread
Tumour/Normal Tissue Features
- macroscopic, microscopic, architecture, grading, growth patterns, immunohistochemistry, molecular techniques, serum markers
Staging / Classification
TNM or other staging system if relevant