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Performance Characteristics and Limitations of the Available Assays for the Detection and Quantitation of Monoclonal Free Light Chains and New Emerging Methodologies

Giles, Hannah V.; Karunanithi, Kamaraj


Hannah V. Giles

Kamaraj Karunanithi


Light chain measurements form an essential component of the testing strategy for the detection and monitoring of patients with suspected and/or proven plasma cell disorders. Urine-based electrophoretic assays remain at the centre of the international guidelines for response assessment but the supplementary role of serum-free light chain (FLC) assays in response assessment and the detection of disease progression due to their increased sensitivity has been increasingly recognised since their introduction in 2001. Serum FLC assays have also been shown to be prognostic across the spectrum of plasma cell disorders and are now incorporated into risk stratification scores for patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), smouldering multiple myeloma, and light chain amyloidosis (AL amyloidosis), as well as being incorporated into the criteria for defining symptomatic multiple myeloma. There are now multiple different commercially available serum FLC assays available with differing performance characteristics, which are discussed in this review, along with the implications of these for patient monitoring. Finally, newer methodologies for the identification and characterisation of monoclonal FLC, including modifications to electrophoretic techniques, mass spectrometry-based assays and Amylite, are also described along with the relevant published data available regarding the performance of each assay.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 5, 2024
Online Publication Date Mar 11, 2024
Deposit Date Mar 27, 2024
Journal Antibodies
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 13
Issue 1
Pages 19
Keywords Drug Discovery, Immunology, Immunology and Allergy

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