A new study published in Cancer Medicine demonstrates that Hypercalcemia is associated with poor rates of survival in patients with newly diagnosed myeloma (NDMM).

The researchers retrospectively evaluated the prognostic impact and mechanism of hypercalcemia in 357 patients with symptomatic NDMM who were initially diagnosed and followed up at Beijing Jishuitan Hospital between February 2013 and December 2019. Of the 357 patients, 16.8% had hypercalcemia at the time of diagnosis, and those patients had some common laboratory results.

“The presence of hypercalcemia was associated with higher serum levels of β2 microglobulin, creatinine, phosphorus, uric acid, procollagen I N‐terminal peptide, β‐carboxy‐terminal cross‐linking telopeptide of type I collagen and osteocalcin, lower serum levels of hemoglobin, parathyroid hormone (PTH),” the authors wrote, adding that these patients also had higher stages on the MM International Staging System (ISS) and revised ISS (R-ISS).

Of all of those factors, the authors said serum PTH, hemoglobin, creatinine, and uric acid levels were the primary factors affecting hypercalcemia.

The presence of hypercalcemia was associated with significantly inferior survival


The presence of hypercalcemia was associated with significantly inferior survival (40 months vs 57 months, p < 0.05) based on univariate analysis.

Overall Survival Summary

Patients with hypercalcemia

(N = 60)

Patients without hypercalcemia

(N = 297)

p Value
OS 40 months 57 months p < 0.05

Hypercalcemia remained an independent poor prognostic factor in a multivariate model that included age and R‐ISS stage.

The authors concluded:

  • “Our study based on patients with symptomatic NDMM at a single center showed that hypercalcemia is associated with poor survival and is caused by manifold factors with humoral effects and local bone destruction.”


Bao, L., Wang, Y., Lu, M., Chu, B., Shi, L., Gao, S., Fang, L. and Xiang, Q. (2020), Hypercalcemia caused by humoral effects and bone damage indicate poor outcomes in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients. Cancer Med. https://doi.org/10.1002/cam4.3594