Multiple myeloma provided one of the earliest opportunities for clinical and laboratory scientists to collaborate in studying neoplastic disease. The first clinical report of a patient with this disease was published by Dalrymple in 1846.1 Urine from this patient was examined by Dr. Henry Bence Jones, who described the urinary protein that has subsequently borne his name2 and that continues to stimulate great investigative interest.
Knowledge in this field progressed very slowly at first. While the disease was clinically characterized in greater detail, the next basic contribution appeared in 1944, when Waldenström described macroglobulinemia.3 As methods applicable to the study of molecular structure and substructure of immunoglobulins have become available to medical scientists, the investigation of both normal immunoglobulins and those immunoglobulins, or subunits thereof, that characterize the monoclonal gammopathies has proceeded at a continually accelerating pace. The resulting body of information is of immense interest to