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What is light chain multiple myeloma?

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Quick Answer

Light chain multiple myeloma is a variation of myeloma in which cancerous plasma cells produce antibodies that contain only light protein chains, explains UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Usually, an antibody consists of two heavy protein chains and two light chains, notes the American Cancer Society.

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Full Answer

Approximately one in every five patients with multiple myeloma has light chain multiple myeloma, explains the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

There are two different types of light protein chains, named lamda and kappa, as well as five types of heavy chains. The category of multiple myeloma a patient has depends on which types of chains the malignant plasma cells produce, as UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center explains.

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