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Polyclonal free light chains: promising new biomarkers in inflammatory disease

Authors Hampson J, Turner A, Stockley R

Received 19 July 2014

Accepted for publication 25 August 2014

Published 24 October 2014 Volume 2014:4 Pages 139—149


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Hung Khong

Judith A Hampson,1 Alice M Turner,1 Robert A Stockley2

1Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Birmingham, 2ADAPT (Antitrypsin Deficiency Assessment and Programme for Treatment), Lung Function and Sleep Department, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, UK

Abstract: In this review, we explore potential novel roles of polyclonal free light chains (FLCs) as a biomarker of disease processes and predictor of mortality in different patient populations. In recent years, there have been many publications demonstrating raised polyclonal FLCs in several inflammatory and infective diseases. However, the potential utility of FLCs as a clinical biomarker remains an area of debate. We review the current evidence, and establish whether certain key criteria to fulfill the role of a useful biomarker have been satisfied. In addition, we also consider the potential role of FLCs in the pathophysiology of inflammatory disease and address the concepts of FLCs as both a therapeutic target and potential therapeutic agent.

Keywords: biomarker, free light chains, autoimmune disease, inflammation

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