• Beta-2-microglobulin is a small protein found in blood, urine and on the surface of cells. When your beta microglobulin levels are elevated, it could indicate a number of diseases, including cancer.

    Test Process

    Your blood will be drawn and tested to check the levels of beta-2-microglobulin and the presence of other hormones.

    Multiple Myeloma

    An elevated beta-2-microglobulin could indicate multiple myeloma, cancer of the plasma cells. Your plasma cells make antibodies which help you fight infection. When myeloma cells multiply, it raises the number of plasma cells, which in turn generate too many abnormal proteins, causing problems in your immune system, bones and kidneys.


    Cancer of the white blood cells, lymphoma, causes an increased level of beta-2-microglobulin. Lymphocytes, a part of your white blood cells, are vital to your immune system.

    Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

    A type of lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Lymphocytes, which fight infection, are affected by CLL. Most commonly occurring in older adults, CLL may be diagnosed after tests reveal elevated beta-2-microglobulin levels.

    False High Test Result

    Since beta-2-microglobulin is excreted by the kidneys, you may show high levels of beta-2-microglobulin but not have multiple myeloma.


    National Cancer Institute: Beta-2-microglobulin

    American Cancer Society: How Is Multiple Myeloma Staged?

    Mayo Clinic: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

    More Information:

    Mayo Clini: Hodgkin's Lymphoma

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