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How Does Multiple Myeloma Spread?

Multiple myeloma tends to spread through the blood in the form of monoclonal protein. It is found most commonly in the bone marrow and bones, but it can affect the kidneys and immune system. Occasionally, a collection of plasma cells (myeloma cells) may collect in an organ/soft tissue. This is called a plasmacytoma. Here are some of the most common skeletal areas that may be affected by myeloma cells:

  • Spine

  • Ribs

  • Skull

  • Pelvis

  • Femur

In rare cases when multiple myeloma spreads outside of the bones, it may go to the soft tissues of the body. However, even when myeloma stays in the bone marrow, myeloma cells make an abnormal protein that travels throughout the body and can damage other organs such as the kidneys.  

Online Medical Reviewer: Berry, Judith, PhD, APRN
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Date Last Reviewed: 2/12/2014
© 2013 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare provider's instructions.
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