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How well you have responded to treatment will be measured regularly in terms of the amount of key substances or cell types in your blood, and of other substances in your urine.

Your doctors will be particularly interested to measure the level of paraprotein or light chains in your blood; the number of abnormal plasma cells in the bone marrow, and an improvement in your symptoms, kidney function and general wellbeing.

Doctors will often categorise your response to treatment according to the levels of these indicators, from ‘stringent complete response’ (no paraprotein in blood or any abnormal plasma cells in bone marrow), through ‘complete response’ and then ‘partial response’ to ‘stable disease’ and ‘progressive disease’ (getting worse). Stable disease means that although there has been less than 50% reduction in paraprotein, it has plateaued at a stable level, so this is a good outcome as well as remission.

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