Myeloma and remission

Your treatment aims to reduce the number of myeloma cells to as few as possible. This is called remission.

You will have tests during your treatment to check how well the myeloma is responding to treatment.

Remission can be measured by checking blood or urine samples for the abnormal immunoglobulins (paraproteins) made by the myeloma cells.

There are different levels of response:

  • complete remission (CR) – the paraprotein cannot be detected in blood or urine tests and there are fewer than 5% plasma cells (a type of white blood cell) in the bone marrow
  • partial remission (PR) – the paraprotein level is at least 50% lower than it was before treatment
  • stable disease – the paraprotein remains at the same level as it was before treatment.

If you have a type of myeloma that does not produce a paraprotein your doctor will explain how remission will be measured.