- Amyloidosis is a collection of conditions occurring when an abnormal protein, known as amyloid, that is made by the plasma cells collects in body organs, such as the kidney, the gastrointestinal tract, the heart or the nervous system.
- Although approximately 10% to 15% of people with myeloma will have or develop amyloidosis, it is rare for people with amyloidosis to develop myeloma.
- Amyloidosis is usually treated with chemotherapy, using the same drugs that are used to treat myeloma.
- Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia is a rare form of plasma cell cancer characterized by an uncontrolled production of IgM, which causes the blood to thicken.
- Symptoms can include: an enlargement of the nymph nodes, spleen or liver; fatigue caused by anemia; headaches; weight loss; a tendency to bleed easily; visual problems; confusion; and dizziness.
- In extreme cases, the increased levels of IgM in the blood can lead to heart failure.
Light chain deposition disease (LCDD)
- LCDD occurs in a very small percentage of myeloma patients, as a result of abnormal light chains collecting in organs, such as the kidneys.
- POEMS syndrome is a rare blood disorder associated with an uncommon type of myeloma called osteosclerotic myeloma and a condition known as Castleman's disease.
- POEMS syndrome affects roughly twice as many men (who, on average are diagnosed at 50 years of age) as women (who are more likely to be diagnosed at around 60 years of age).