Optional banner to alert visitors of an upcoming event. You can link the event here.

Cancer Keys

Myeloma investigations

Published: 26th July 2022

18th March 2022

The following tests are relevant when investigating suspected myeloma:

  • Full blood count to look for anaemia or leukopenia
  • Renal profile to look for renal dysfunction
  • Bone profile to look for evidence of hypercalcaemia, plasma viscosity or ESR to look for inflammation
  • Bence-Jones protein urine assessment
  • Serum protein electrophoresis

Bence-Jones protein urine assessment and serum protein electrophoresis

If you are suspicious of myeloma following receiving blood test results, it useful to request both a Bence-Jones protein test and serum protein electrophoresis test. A combination of these assessments will diagnose up to 95% of patients. If you test for serum protein electrophoresis alone, you will identify only 2/3 of patients. However, it is important to note that both of these tests are negative in 1-2% of people with multiple myeloma, who have a ‘non-secretory’ form of the disease that produces no serum M protein or urinary Bence-Jones protein.

According to NICE NG12 guidelines, serum protein electrophoresis and a Bence-Jones protein urine test to assess for myeloma should be offered within 48 hours to people aged 60 and over with hypercalcaemia or leukopenia and a presentation that is consistent with possible myeloma. If a patient’s investigation results show abnormalities or appear to indicate myeloma then this should be investigated further by a specialist. A suspected cancer referral should be made for an appointment within 2 weeks.

Find out more:

Access GatewayC’s ‘Myeloma – Early Diagnosis’ course

LinkedIn Twitter Facebook

You might also be interested in

Cancer Conversations

Short documentary-style videos, created to inspire and inform

Cancer Keys

Weekly cancer updates delivered straight to your inbox

Personal Stories

Experiences of people affected by cancer, including patients living with it and those supporting them

NEW: GPs Talk Cancer podcast. Listen to our first episode.