Cancer Protein Levels In Blood


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Why The Test Is Performed

Scientists discover link between cancer-causing protein and blood clots

Proteins are made from amino acids and are important parts of all cells and tissues. There are many different kinds of proteins in the body, and they have many different functions. Examples of proteins include enzymes, certain hormones, hemoglobin, low-density lipoprotein , and others.

Serum proteins are classified as albumin or globulins. Albumin is the most abundant protein in the serum. It carries many small molecules. It is also important for keeping fluid from leaking out from the blood vessels into the tissues.

Globulins are divided into alpha-1, alpha-2, beta, and gamma globulins. In general, alpha and gamma globulin protein levels increase when there is inflammation in the body.

Lipoprotein electrophoresis determines the amount of proteins made up of protein and fat, called lipoproteins .

Certain Factors Affect Prognosis And Treatment Options

The prognosis depends on the following:

  • The type of plasma cell neoplasm.
  • The stage of the disease.
  • Whether a certain immunoglobulin is present.
  • Whether there are certain genetic changes.
  • Whether the kidney is damaged.
  • Whether the cancer responds to initial treatment or recurs .

Treatment options depend on the following:

  • The type of plasma cell neoplasm.
  • The age and general health of the patient.
  • Whether there are signs, symptoms, or health problems, such as kidney failure or infection, related to the disease.
  • Whether the cancer responds to initial treatment or recurs .

The International Staging System

Doctors use the International Staging System to stage myeloma. It looks at the results of 2 blood tests. These blood tests measure the amount of these substances in the blood:

  • are ß2-microglobulin
  • lactate dehydrogenase

You will also have blood tests to look for particular gene changes . You might hear this call cytogenetic tests. Doctors describe the results as low or high risk cytogenetics.

Doctors use this system to help them predict how you might respond to treatment.

The ISS divides myeloma into 3 stages:

Stage 1 means:

  • the level of the protein called beta 2 microglobulin is less than 3.5 milligrams per litre
  • the level of albumin in the blood is more than 3.5 grams per decilitre
  • normal LDH level

Stage 2 means:

  • the level of ß2-M is between 3.5 and 5.5 mg/L, with any albumin level OR
  • the level of ß2-M is less than 3.5 mg/L and the level of albumin is less than 3.5 g/dL

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Bringing Myeloma Under Control

The initial treatment for multiple myeloma may be either:

  • non-intensive for older or less fit patients
  • intensive for younger or fitter patients

The decision about which treatment is appropriate for you is usually based on your biological age or fitness.

As a general rule, people younger than 65 are more likely to be candidates for intensive therapy. For those over 70, non-intensive treatment is more likely to be recommended.

Those aged in between will be given careful consideration as to what treatment group they fall into.

Both non-intensive and intensive treatments involve taking a combination of anti-myeloma medicines. Intensive treatment involves much higher doses and is followed by a stem cell transplant.

The medicines usually include a chemotherapy medicine, a steroid medicine, and either thalidomide or bortezomib.

Blood Protein May Show Cancer Death And Diabetes Risks

March is Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month

Aug. 5, 2022 â A protein in the blood could serve as an early indicator for patients who face risks for diabetes and death from cancer, according to a new study published in Diabetologia.

People with the highest levels of prostasin in their blood were twice as likely to have diabetes and 43% more likely to die from cancer, the researchers found.

âWe know there is a connection between diabetes and some types of cancer, and this study suggests levels of a particular protein, called prostasin, is linked to both conditions,â Jessica Brown, PhD, a research communications officer for Diabetes UK, told The Guardian.

âGaining a better understanding of the changes inside the body that may put people at risk from diabetes and cancer will help scientists find ways to protect people from these serious conditions, but thereâs still much to discover,â she said.

Researchers in Sweden and China analyzed 2 decades of health records from more than 4,600 middle-aged adults, measuring prostasin in frozen samples from the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study Cardiovascular Cohort. The Swedish study, which enrolled patients in the 1990s, looked into the relationship between diet and later cancer risk.

During the 2-decade follow-up period, 702 people in the study developed diabetes and 651 died from cancer.

âParticular attention should be paid to these individuals,â the study authors wrote.

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What Happens During A Tumor Marker Test

Blood tests are the most common type of tumor marker tests. Urine tests or biopsies are also frequently used to check for tumor markers. A biopsy is a minor procedure that involves removing a small piece of tissue for testing.

For a blood test: A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.

For a urine test: Your health care provider will tell you how to provide your sample.

For a biopsy: A provider will remove a small piece of tissue. There are many ways to do a biopsy, depending on where the sample is located. A biopsy of your skin may be done by cutting or scraping the area. A biopsy of tissue from inside your body may use a special needle to remove a sample or a small incision to remove all or part of a suspicious area.

Is High Protein In The Blood Serious

High blood protein is not a specific disease or condition in itself, but it might indicate you have a disease. High blood protein rarely causes signs or symptoms on its own. But sometimes it is uncovered while youre having blood tests done as part of an evaluation for some other problem or symptom.

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The Stage Of Multiple Myeloma Is Based On The Levels Of Beta

Beta-2-microglobulin and albumin are found in the blood. Beta-2-microglobulin is a protein found on plasma cells. Albumin makes up the biggest part of the blood plasma. It keeps fluid from leaking out of blood vessels. It also brings nutrients to tissues, and carries hormones, vitamins, drugs, and other substances, such as calcium, all through the body. In the blood of patients with multiple myeloma, the amount of beta-2-microglobulin is increased and the amount of albumin is decreased.

Age Can Affect The Risk Of Plasma Cell Neoplasms

How is the overall myeloma protein level in the blood affected by its distribution?

Anything that increases your risk of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer not having risk factors doesn’t mean that you will not get cancer. Talk with your doctor if you think you may be at risk.

Plasma cell neoplasms are most common in people who are middle aged or older. For multiple myeloma and plasmacytoma, other risk factors include the following:

Studies about how racial, social, and financial factors affect access to treatment and rates of plasma cell neoplasms are ongoing.

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Complications Of M Proteins

A lot of the time, M proteins don’t cause any problems. You may not realize that you have them in your body. But as the abnormal or cancerous plasma cells spread, they may crowd out healthy blood cells. This can lead to complications, such as:

Anemia. Symptoms of anemia like shortness of breath is one of the more common presentations cause the BM is so crowded with abnormal plasma cells that red blood cells are crowded out. So are platelets that are formed in the bone marrow, so bruising is common.

Infections. When plasma cells make more M proteins, there are fewer functional antibodies to fight infections.

Peripheral neuropathy. M proteins can affect how well your nerves work. You can get numbness, tingling, or burning in your hands, feet, or lower legs.

Bone loss or damage. Bones are weakened by dysfunctional plasma cells, both cause of decreased bone density and because of actual collections of cancer cells in the bone. You can suffer from bone fractures from minimal activity . This is called a pathologic fracture.

Kidney problems. Your kidneys have to work overtime to filter out the M proteins and calcium in your blood. Your kidneys might not work as well as they should, or you might even have kidney failure.

How Can I Lower My Total Protein In My Blood

There is no specific diet or lifestyle change you can make to bring down your total protein. High levels of total protein can mean that either albumin and globulin are high. Albumin helps prevent blood from leaking out of blood vessels and carries medicines through the blood. Globulins have different purposes.

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High Levels Of Proteins In Blood

High levels of protein in the blood could be indicative of a weakened immune system. When people have an abnormally high blood protein count, doctors may recommend them to get themselves tested for Hepatitis or HIV. Total blood protein levels may become elevated if one is suffering from a chronic infection. Liver dysfunction could also cause the levels of protein to increase. Since chronic inflammation could also be a contributory factor, people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis can have a high blood protein count. Sometimes abnormal levels of protein in blood could be caused due to certain bone marrow diseases such as multiple myeloma, amyloidosis or monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance.

What Is The Life Expectancy Of Multiple Myeloma

Protein Tumor Markers

Some people live 10 years or more with multiple myeloma. As with most types of cancer, early diagnosis and treatment help people live longer. In this case, 78% of people who have single plasmacytoma are alive five years after diagnosis. The overall five-year survival rate for people with multiple myeloma ranges from 40% to 82%. These numbers are based on the Revised Multiple Myeloma International Staging System .

Its important to remember that statistics like these are averages that dont take factors like age or overall health into consideration. If you have multiple myeloma, your healthcare provider is your best resource for information about your specific situation.

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What Is A Low Protein Level

Hypoproteinemia is a condition in which a person has very low levels of protein in the blood. Proteins are essential to every part of the human body. Bones, muscles, skin, and nearly every vital organ or tissue contain them. The body needs protein to function and survive and must get it through food.

Complete Blood Count Test

A complete blood count test measures the number of blood cells circulating in the bloodstream. Specifically, this cancer blood test measures a blood sample for the level of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body white blood cells, which fight infection and platelets, which help with blood clotting. The test also measures hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen, and hematocrit, the ratio of red blood cells to plasma.

A CBC may be used to detect a variety of conditions, including leukemia, anemia and infection. Also, because some cancer treatments may temporarily lower blood counts, oncologists often use CBC tests throughout treatment to closely monitor a patients blood counts.

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How Doctors Classify Myeloma

The symptoms and signs that doctors look for are called CRAB, which stands for:

There are other factors that your doctors use to decide about your treatment. They include the number of plasma cells in the bone marrow biopsy, levels of light chains in the blood or urine tests, and areas of bone damaged by myeloma showing on scans .

Doctors then describe your myeloma as either:

Reasons For Low Protein Level In Blood

How does the M-spike correlate to the amount of myeloma protein in the body?

Blood chemistry panels usually include a total protein test, a measure of the concentration of protein in the liquid component of your blood. A low total protein level can occur for a variety of reasons that fall into the general categories of dilution, increased loss, decreased production and malnutrition. Slightly reduced blood protein often causes no symptoms but a markedly low level can lead to weakness, fatigue and leakage of fluid from your circulation into the soft tissues of your body, which you might notice as swelling in your feet, lower legs, hands and/or face.

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How Does A Person Get Multiple Myeloma

Healthcare providers and researchers arent sure what causes multiple myeloma. Some potential causes theyre exploring include:

  • Genetic mutations:Researchers are investigating links between mutating or changing oncogene and multiple myeloma. Theyve also found most people who have multiple myeloma dont have all pieces of a certain chromosome.
  • Environmental factors: Some studies show potential connections between multiple myeloma and exposure to radiation or chemicals in pesticides, fertilizer or Agent Orange.
  • Having an inflammatory disease or condition: Examples of inflammatory disease include heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Having obesity: This is having high levels of body fat.

Level Of Tumor Protein Indicates Chances Cancer Will Spread

NIH researchers seek to develop test to guide treatment.

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health and the University of Hong Kong have discovered that high levels of a particular protein in cancer cells are a reliable indicator that a cancer will spread.

The findings raise the long term possibilities of new tests to gauge the likelihood that a cancer will spread and, ultimately, of a treatment that could prevent cancer from spreading.

The protein, known as CPE-delta N, is a form of carboxypeptidase E . Ordinarily, CPE is involved in processing insulin and other hormones. CPE-delta N, a variant of CPE, was present in high amounts in tumors that had spread and, to a much lesser degree, in surrounding tissues.

Cancer cells can break away from a primary tumor and spread, or metastasize, to other parts of the body, where they form new tumors. Metastatic cancer is often fatal, and health care practitioners seek to contain cancer early, before it can metastasize.

“Testing for CPE-delta N, if combined with existing diagnostic methods, offers the possibility of more accurately estimating the chances that a cancer will spread,” said Alan E. Guttmacher, M.D., director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which supported the study. “Conceivably, a patients CPE-delta N levels could be a key guide in individualizing their cancer care to improve outcome.”

The findings appear in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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How Do I Take Care Of Myself

Multiple myeloma affects people in different ways. For example, people with MGUS or SSM pre-cancerous forms of multiple myeloma wont need immediate treatment. Theyll need regular checkups and tests. If youre in remission from multiple myeloma, your healthcare provider will recommend a checkup schedule and tests based on your specific situation.

If youre living with multiple myeloma, there are steps you can take to support your overall health:

  • Eat healthy foods every day. Multiple myeloma may affect your appetite, so you may want to eat four or five small meals throughout the day.
  • If you smoke, try to stop.
  • Get enough rest.

Monoclonal Gammopathy Of Undetermined Significance

How cancer induces a hypercoagulable state

In monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance , abnormal plasma cells make many copies of the same antibody . However, these plasma cells do not form an actual tumor or mass and do not cause any of the problems seen in multiple myeloma. MGUS usually does not affect a persons health. It doesnt cause weak bones, high calcium levels, kidney problems, or low blood counts. Its most often found when a routine blood test finds a high level of protein in the blood and further testing shows the protein is a monoclonal antibody. In MGUS, the number of plasma cells may be increased, but they still make up less than 10% of the cells in the bone marrow.

MGUS is not considered cancer, but it is sometimes called pre-malignant because some people with MGUS will eventually develop cancers such as multiple myeloma, lymphoma, or amyloidosis. Each year, about 1% of people with MGUS develops one of these diseases. The risk is higher in people whose protein levels are particularly high. Patients with MGUS dont need treatment, but they are watched closely to see if they get a disease that does need to be treated, such as multiple myeloma.

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Multiple Myeloma And Other Plasma Cell Neoplasms May Cause A Condition Called Amyloidosis

In rare cases, multiple myeloma can cause peripheral nerves and organs to fail. This may be caused by a condition called amyloidosis. Antibody proteins build up and stick together in peripheral nerves and organs, such as the kidney and heart. This can cause the nerves and organs to become stiff and unable to work the way they should.

Amyloidosis may cause the following signs and symptoms:

  • Feeling very tired.
  • Purple spots on the skin.
  • Enlarged tongue.
  • Swelling caused by fluid in your body’s tissues.
  • Tingling or numbness in your legs and feet.

Blood Protein Levels May Flag Risk Of Diabetes And Death By Cancer Shows Study

People with highest levels of prostasin twice as likely to have diabetes and 43% more likely to die from cancer

Doctors have identified a protein in the blood they believe could serve as an early warning sign for patients who are at risk of diabetes and death from cancer.

Researchers in Sweden and China analysed two decades of health records from more than 4,500 middle-aged adults on the Malmö diet and cancer study. They found that those with the highest levels of prostasin, a protein that circulates in the blood, were almost twice as likely to have diabetes than those with the lowest levels.

Some of those enrolled on the study already had diabetes, so the scientists looked at who among those without the disease went on to be diagnosed later. People in the top quarter for prostasin levels turned out to be 76% more likely to develop diabetes than those in the bottom quarter.

Dr Xue Bao, the first author on the study at the Affiliated hospital of Nanjing University medical school in China, said prostasin was a potential new risk marker for diabetes, but also death from cancer, particularly in people who have high blood sugar.

Prostasin plays several roles in the body, such as regulating blood pressure and blood volume, and it also suppresses the growth of tumours that are fuelled by high blood sugar. While type 2 diabetes is known to raise the risk of certain cancers, including pancreatic, liver, bowel and endometrial tumours, the biological mechanisms are far from clear.

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