Multiple myeloma tests are diverse and complex. Tests are used throughout the course of your disease — for initial diagnosis, discovering the type of myeloma you have, staging the disease, and for monitoring your response to treatment.

Staging multiple myeloma is determined by tests. When multiple myeloma is diagnosed, the stage of the disease varies from patient to patient.

The most commonly used clinical staging system, the Durie-Salmon Staging System, demonstrates the correlation between the amount of myeloma and the damage it has caused, such as bone disease or anemia.

Staging can also be done according to prognosis, or expected survival. The Revised International Staging System (R-ISS) is based upon prognostic factors and is widely used to risk classify patients within clinical trials. 

Multiple Myeloma Prognosis

A multiple myeloma prognosis is determined by both the number and specific properties of myeloma cells in a given patient. These specific properties include the following: the

  • growth rate of myeloma cells,
  • the production rate of monoclonal antibody proteins,
  • and the production or non-production of various cytokines (molecules that allow immune cells to talk to each other) and chemicals that damage or significantly impair other tissues, organs, or bodily functions.



The International Myeloma Foundation medical and editorial content team

Comprised of leading medical researchers, hematologists, oncologists, oncology-certified nurses, medical editors, and medical journalists, our team has extensive knowledge of the multiple myeloma treatment and care landscape. Additionally, Dr. Brian G.M. Durie reviews and approves all medical content on this website. 

Last Medical Content Review: June 6, 2021

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