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How is monoclonal paraproteinemia related to leukemia?

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Monoclonal paraproteinemia is a potential symptom of or precursor to leukemia, according to Clinical Chemistry. The condition is defined by an abnormal level of a specific immunoglobulin protein in the blood that is produced from a single abnormal clone of a blood stem cell.

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Monoclonal paraproteinemia is also known as monoclonal gammopathy and can be a symptom of another blood cancer known as myeloma, according to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Both the precursor cells for the white blood cells involved in leukemia and the plasma cells involved in myeloma produce the excessive antibodies seen in monoclonal paraproteinemia, as stated by Clinical Chemistry. However, many cases of monoclonal paraproteinemia are benign abnormalities termed monoclonal gammopathies of unknown significance, or MGUS. In some cases, patients are diagnosed with MGUS and then are later diagnosed with a related myeloma or leukemia.

Monoclonal paraproteinemia associated with leukemia usually consists of IgM antibodies rather than the IgG or IgA antibodies seen in myeloma-associated gammopathy, as reported by Clinical Chemistry. The level of accumulation of these proteins in the blood often reflects the progress of the associated leukemia. At higher levels, leukemia-associated proteinemia can cause Raynaud's syndrome, peripheral neuropathy, vasculitis, hemolytic anemia and complex immune disease.

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