Multiple Myeloma

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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It is possible that the main title of the report Multiple Myeloma is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Multiple myeloma is a rare form of cancer (1% of malignancy) characterized by excessive production (proliferation) and improper function of certain cells (plasma cells) found in the bone marrow. Plasma cells, which are a type of white blood cell, are produced in the bone marrow and normally reside there. Excessive plasma cells may eventually mass together to form a tumor or tumors in various sites of the body, especially the bone marrow. If only a single tumor is present, the term solitary plasmacytoma is used. When multiple tumors are present, the term multiple myeloma is used. Plasma cells are a key component of the immune system and secrete a substance known as immunoglobulin proteins (M-proteins), a type of antibody. Antibodies are special proteins that the body produces to combat invading microorganisms, toxins, or other foreign substances. Overproduction of plasma cells in affected individuals results in abnormally high levels of these proteins within the body, referred to as M proteins

Major symptoms of multiple myeloma may include bone pain, especially in the back and the ribs; low levels of circulating red blood cells (anemia) resulting in weakness, fatigue, and lack of color (pallor); and kidney (renal) abnormalities. In some cases, affected individuals are more susceptible to bacterial infections such as pneumonia. The cause of multiple myeloma is unknown.

Supporting Organizations

American Cancer Society, Inc.

250 Williams NW St
Ste 6000
Atlanta, GA 30303
Tel: (404)320-3333
Tel: (800)227-2345

Cancer Research UK

Angel Building
407 St John Street
London, EC1V 4AD
United Kingdom
Tel: 020 7242 0200
Fax: 2071216700

Cancer Support Community

1050 17th St NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202)659-9709
Fax: (202)974-7999
Tel: (888)793-9355


American Society of Clinical Oncology
2318 Mill Road Suite 800
Alexandria, VA 22314
Tel: (571)483-1780
Fax: (571)366-9537
Tel: (888)651-3038

Friends of Cancer Research

1800 M Street NW
Suite 1050 South
Washington, DC 22202
Tel: (202)944-6700

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311

International Myeloma Foundation

12650 Riverside Drive
Suite 206
North Hollywood, CA 91607
Tel: (818)487-7455
Fax: (818)487-7454
Tel: (800)452-2873

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

1311 Mamaroneck Avenue
Suite 310
White Plains, NY 10605
Tel: (914)949-5213
Fax: (914)949-6691
Tel: (800)955-4572

Livestrong Foundation

2201 E. Sixth Street
Austin, TX 78702
Tel: (512)236-8820
Fax: (512)236-8482
Tel: (877)236-8820

Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

383 Main Avenue
5th Floor
Norwalk, CT 6851
Tel: (203)229-0464
Fax: (203)229-0572

NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute ~ Hematology Branch

10 Center Dr, Building 10-CRC
3-5140, MSC-1202
Bethesda, MD 20892-1202
Tel: (301)496-5093
Fax: (301)496-8396
Tel: (800)644-2337

National Cancer Institute

6116 Executive Blvd Suite 300
Bethesda, MD 20892-8322
Tel: (301)435-3848
Tel: (800)422-6237

Patient Registries at Slone: Myeloma & MDS

Slone Epidemiology Center
1010 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 2215
Fax: (617)738-5119
Tel: (800)231-3769

Rare Cancer Alliance

1649 North Pacana Way
Green Valley, AZ 85614

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report.

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

Last Updated:  3/15/2016
Copyright  2013 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.