The following article features coverage from the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2021. Click here to read more of Hematology Advisor’s conference coverage.

Among patients with multiple myeloma (MM), higher amylase levels are linked with more advanced disease as well as inferior survival, according to research presented at the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2021.

Since the first description of amylase in 1988, research has suggested that hyperamylasemia in patients with MM is linked with both extensive bone disease, more aggressive disease, and inferior survival. It is, however, unestablished how frequently patients with MM will present with elevated amylase.

For this study, researchers evaluated serum amylase levels among patients with newly diagnosed or relapsed MM. Elevated amylase was defined as serum amylase levels of greater than 100 U/L. Only patients with normal lipase and creatine clearance, and in whom there was no evidence of intestinal obstruction or perforation, were included.

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Overall, data from 58 patients were included, among whom the median age was 65 years. In this group, 29.3% were classified as having elevated serum amylase levels and the mean serum levels were 130±69 U/L. Age, gender, heavy chain class, and cytogenetics did not appear to predict for hyperamylasemia.

Per international staging system criteria, 41.2% of patients with elevated amylase levels had stage III disease, while hyperamylasemia was noted in 20.8% and 31.3% of patients with stage I or stage II disease, respectively. Patients with extramedullary disease were, furthermore, more likely to have elevated amylase levels (P =.028).

Compared with patients with normal amylase levels, patients with hyperamylasemia had a higher mortality rate (29.4% among patients with elevated serum levels vs 17% among those with normal serum levels) and shorter mean survival periods (30.2 months vs 51.7 months, respectively).

“Patients with MM associated with elevated amylase levels were more likely to be diagnosed with advanced [international staging system] stage, higher mortality and shorter survival,” the authors wrote. “The limitations of the study were small sample size.”

Read more of Hematology Advisor’s coverage of ESMO 2021 by visiting the conference page.


Panthula C, Jose WM, Krishnan S. The utility of serum amylase as a clinical marker in patients with multiple myeloma. Paper presented at: European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2021 Congress; September 16-21, 2021. Abstract 847P.