An electrophoretic study has been made of the plasma and extracts of tumor of a typical multiple myeloma subject. Tumor tissue was obtained at autopsy from the vertebrae, ileum, and lymph nodes. Control tests were made with corresponding normal tissues and with tumor tissue from a patient with myelogenous leukemia. Vertebral marrow obtained from a multiple myeloma subject who had undergone treatment with urethan was also investigated.

A large, sharp peak characterizing the electrophoretic pattern of the plasma of the test subject also characterized the patterns of extracts of tumor-containing tissues of the same subject. This component was not observed in any of the control experiments. It was also absent in the extract of the marrow of the urethan-treated multiple myeloma subject, due, presumably, to the effect of the urethan in inhibiting or destroying the myeloma cells. The results appear to support the view that myeloma cells are the site of formation of the abnormal plasma proteins of multiple myeloma.


This investigation was supported in part by a research grant from the National Cancer Institute, of the National Institutes of Health, Public Health Service, and in part by a grant from the American Cancer Society.

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