IgE myeloma is a rare variant of multiple myeloma, characterized by the neoplastic proliferation of plasma cells that produce immunoglobulin E (IgE).
IgE myeloma was first described in 1967 by Johansson and Bennich and till date, only 40 cases have been documented   . IgE myeloma does not present with any specific symptoms or signs when compared to the other forms of multiple myeloma (MM) . It is, however, considered to be a more aggressive entity, with studies showing the median survival time to be reduced (16 months vs 30 months for other types of MM)  .
The average age of onset of this disease is 62 years, ranging from 38-80 years. It is known to occur slightly more commonly in males. Patients usually present in a similar manner to other forms of MM, with bone pain, anemia, hypercalcemia and renal failure forming the clinical spectrum.
The most common complaint of patients is bone pain, occurring in the lumbar areas. Other areas that may be involved are the long bones, the skull, and pelvis. They may be associated with pathological fractures, mostly involving the axial skeleton. Spinal cord compression may be a result of these compressive, osteolytic bone lesions.
Hypercalcemia, seen in almost 30% of patients, may present as nausea, constipation, thirst, somnolence and confusion. Renal insufficiency, a marker of poor prognosis, may be seen in a few patients .
IgE myeloma is to be suspected in middle-aged adults who present with the characteristic symptoms of bone pain, along with the other features, or in those who have incidental abnormalities on routine blood tests, including anemia, raised erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) or hypercalcemia .
Routine blood tests to be done include a complete blood count (CBC) that demonstrates a normocytic normochromic anemia, present in roughly three-quarters of patients. WBC and platelet counts are usually unaffected. ESR may be raised to > 100 mm/hr.
Hypercalcemia may be present in 10% of patients at the time of diagnosis. Other renal function tests like serum creatinine, blood urea nitrogen test (BUN) and serum uric acid may reveal features of renal insufficiency.
In contrast to the other variants of multiple myeloma, most patients with IgE myeloma do not demonstrate monoclonal protein bands on serum or urine electrophoresis. The diagnosis is then made by bone marrow aspiration and biopsy, that may reveal large numbers of plasma cells. Immunohistochemical staining will show these plasma cells to be strongly positive for IgE in their cytoplasm. Light chain analysis may have prognostic significance in these patients .
Imaging might reveal the characteristic pathological fractures or lytic lesions in the skeleton and hence, plain X-rays of the spine, skull, pelvis and long bones need to be carried out. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may help localize the site of bone pain. Positron emission tomography (PET) scans are rarely required.
Chromosomal studies may be done to detect the characteristic translocation abnormalities seen in IgE myeloma.
Treatment with prednisone, melphalan, cyclophosphamide and interferon alfa did not produce any improvement and the patient died 5 months after diagnosis. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Methods We completed a retrospective chart review using a standardized protocol from 50 clinical centers specializing in MM management and treatment. [library.ehaweb.org]
A recent study showed an improvement in prognosis through treatment with bortezomib-containing regimens which was the treatment chosen for the patient (11). [biochemia-medica.com]
Overall, the use of novel agents as the first-line therapy is expected to improve IgE MM prognosis. [pesquisa.bvsalud.org]
Renal insufficiency, a marker of poor prognosis, may be seen in a few patients. Patients may also report certain constitutional symptoms related to hyperviscosity. An increased incidence of infections may also be found in such patients. [symptoma.com]
Nevertheless, our results suggest that the clinical and laboratory characteristics of IgE MM are similar to IgG MM, and in the era of novel therapeutic agents, the prognosis in this rare condition may be better than previously reported. [onlinelibrary.wiley.com]
IgE levels in adults are less helpful in establishing an allergic etiology for symptoms. [clinlabnavigator.com]
Although such an unrelated etiology would be unexpected, one would be obligated to pursue other possible causes. These would include quite a number of illnesses, most of which would not fit the clinical picture you describe. [aaaai.org]
The exact etiology of multiple myeloma remains unclear. [aafp.org]
Whether this was because of another etiology or simply irreversibility of myeloma renal failure could not be determined. [oatext.com]
On the one hand, the review was not a systematic review of the literature, and on the other hand, drawing epidemiological conclusions from case series necessarily expose the reader to the risk of publication bias. [biochemia-medica.com]
The term “multiple myeloma” was first used to describe the presence of multiple tumors originating in the bone. 1 Epidemiology Multiple myeloma is the most common primary cancer of the bones in adults. [aafp.org]
Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful Detecting or monitoring of monoclonal gammopathies and immune deficiencies Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they [mayomedicallaboratories.com]
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The role of the bone marrow microenvironment in the pathophysiology of myeloma and its significance in the development of more effective therapies. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 2007;21:1007-34, vii-viii. 21. Lonial S, Mitsiades CS, Richardson PG. [cancernetwork.com]
100,000 persons/year in the US M:F 1.4:1, twice as frequent in African Americans compared to Caucasians, not seen in children, rarely seen in adults under 30, median age of diagnosis is 68 years 3.7 fold increased risk with affected first degree relative Pathophysiology [pathologyoutlines.com]
The cancer cells can also prevent the growth of new red blood cells, causing anaemia. [kmle.co.kr]
Collaborative overview of randomised trials of antiplatelet therapy, I: Prevention of death, myocardial infarction, and stroke by prolonged antiplatelet therapy in various categories of patients. [books.google.com]
Changes in lifestyle can help prevent many types of cancer. However, no known lifestyle changes can prevent myelomas. Immune System Health A healthy immune system remains your body's best defense. [cancertutor.com]
The cancer damages bones and prevents the body from making healthy blood cells. People do not often experience multiple myeloma symptoms until they reach stage 3. [medicalnewstoday.com]
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- Dimopoulos M, Kyle R, Fermand JP, et al. Consensus recommendations for standard investigative workup: report of the International Myeloma Workshop Consensus Panel 3. Blood. 2011;117:4701-5.
- National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology, Multiple Myeloma Version 3.2016. Available with free registration at www.nccn.org.