Precancerous stage of Myeloma can now be detected using an innovative diagnostic technique

Neuberg Diagnostic's Anand laboratory unveils 5-year retrospective analysis of data

New Delhi: Neuberg Anand Reference Laboratory has unveiled an innovative diagnostic approach that has helped them detect Myeloma in patients without any clinical evidence of plasma cell cancers. By carrying out the standard liver function test in combination with protein electrophoresis at the center, Neuberg Anand Reference Laboratory has been able to screen for Myeloma, a type of blood cancer.
Retrospective analysis of 5 years extended LFT data from Neuberg Anand reference lab shows that out of 60097 patients who registered for this test for the first time, 587 patients (0.98%) were identified to be positive for monoclonal gammopathy. Apparently, these patients would not know that they are harbouring a clone of plasma cells that may, in future, become cancerous, and this test would have helped them to start monitoring periodically the status of the disease – stationary or progressing.
The incidence of Myeloma in India is 1.0 per 100,000, which is gradually rising in metropolitan cities in India. 1 Almost 10–20% of patients may have serious complications in the first 4–6 weeks. Monoclonal gammopathy of uncertain significance (MGUS) is a premalignant condition (precancerous stage) that may progress to Myeloma. Patients with MGUS are asymptomatic and have a risk of progression to Myeloma at the rate of 1% annually.
Getting early warning at the precancerous stage can help such patients help monitor the progression of their disease and take the necessary treatment plan for efficient management of their condition.
“With early and accurate screening, better treatment outcomes for plasma cell-related cancers can be achieved. We have strived to bring better monitoring of the progression of the condition as well. And we foresee, with the innovation of combination of extended liver function tests and protein electrophoresis, better patient outcomes will be achieved.” said Dr. Venkatesh D B, Senior Consultant and HOD – Clinical Biochemistry, Neuberg Anand Reference Laboratory.
“While Standard liver function screens (LFT) for the abnormalities in liver function and helps delineate the probable nature of pathology affecting the liver, adding protein electrophoresis enhances the value of LFT for evaluating liver function as well as provide a very good tool to screen for monoclonal gammopathies. The conventional LFT does not help detect any cancers in general and Myeloma in particular unless the LFT is combined with protein electrophoresis.” he added.
Talking about the extended liver function test, Dr.Sujay Prasad, Medical Director, Neuberg Diagnostics said, “Liver is the most important organ involved in the manufacturing and secretion of the majority of proteins found in the blood which forms the premise for combining these two tests together in one package. This approach has helped us to screen for patients who are carrying the monoclonal immunoglobulins without any clinical evidence of plasma cell disorders.”
It has been possible to achieve this as Neuberg Anand is, to the best of our knowledge, the only laboratory in the country that undertakes extended LFT along with protein electrophoresis for every such patient, even if the attending clinician has not ordered it. 
In India, multiple Myeloma accounts for around 5,900 deaths every year. Hence, an innovation-driven diagnostic player like Neuberg Anand Reference Laboratory realizes the most important call to action to enable faster and more accurate screening.