Multiple myeloma presenting as extramedullary plasmacytoma of the thyroid, advanced grade II — III plasmablastic type
To test whether highly anaplastic myeloma and immunoblastic lymphoma are truly identical disease processes, simultaneous series were compared in respect to cytomorphologic features, immunoglobulin content or secretion, clinical and laboratory findings, and patient survival. Although the series partially overlapped in each studied feature, different trends served to distinguish them. Of the 14 patients with myeloma, all were dead at two years, whereas six of the 22 patients with lymphoma were disease-free at 35 to 78 months. Only 50 percent of patients with myeloma received intensive chemotherapy, whereas all 19 patients with stage III or IV lymphoma received such therapy. Myelomas secreted predominantly IgA heavy chain rather than IgG and lambda light chain rather than kappa. Lymphomas contained predominantly IgM rather than IgG and kappa rather than lambda. There were no IgM myelomas and no IgA lymphomas. The shorter survival of patients with the extremely anaplastic form of myeloma, as compared with patients who had immunoblastic lymphoma, may relate, in part, to prior therapy for previous lower grade myeloma; however, intrinsic differences in the nature of these two disease processes are reflected in their disparate immunologic characteristics.