Frigyesi I, Adolfsson J, Ali M, Christophersen MK, Johnsson E, Turesson I, Gullberg U, Hansson M, Nilsson B
Blood 123 (9) 1336-1340 [2014-02-27; online 2014-01-02]
Molecular characterization of malignant plasma cells is increasingly important for diagnostic and therapeutic stratification in multiple myeloma. However, the malignant plasma cells represent a relatively small subset of bone marrow cells, and need to be enriched prior to analysis. Currently, the cell surface marker CD138 (SDC1) is used for this enrichment, but has an important limitation in that its expression decreases rapidly after sampling. Seeking alternatives to CD138, we performed a computational screen for myeloma plasma cell markers and systematically evaluated 7 candidates. Our results conclusively show that the markers CD319 (SLAMF7/CS1) and CD269 (TNFRSF17/BCMA) are considerably more robust than CD138 and enable isolation of myeloma plasma cells under more diverse conditions, including the samples that have been delayed or frozen. Our results form the basis of improved procedures for characterizing cases of multiple myeloma in clinical practice.