Breaking News
February 23, 2019 - AHA News: Why Are Black Women at Higher Risk of Dying From Pregnancy Complications?
February 23, 2019 - NIMH » Anxiety Disorders
February 23, 2019 - Autistic people urgently need access to tailored mental health support
February 23, 2019 - Newly designed molecule could benefit people with Friedrich’s Ataxia
February 23, 2019 - Chinese CRISPR twins may have better cognition and memory
February 23, 2019 - Study finds new genetic clues associated with asthma in African ancestry populations
February 23, 2019 - Fetal signaling pathways may offer future opportunities to treat lung damage
February 23, 2019 - Early-stage osteoarthritis drug wins prestigious innovation award
February 23, 2019 - Researchers report positive findings with dasotraline for ADHD in children ages 6-12
February 23, 2019 - News study reanalyzes the effects of noncaloric sweeteners on gut microbiota
February 23, 2019 - New device allows scientists to reproduce blow effects on the heart in lab
February 23, 2019 - Holy herb identified as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease
February 23, 2019 - New technology platform digitally counts growth factors in single cells
February 23, 2019 - Surgery and other treatments offer viable options for adult scoliosis
February 23, 2019 - Reduced antibody adaptability may make the elderly more vulnerable to influenza
February 23, 2019 - Neighborhood income, education associated with risk of disability progression in MS patients
February 23, 2019 - 2019 guidelines for management of patients with atrial fibrillation
February 23, 2019 - Surprise rheumatoid arthritis discovery points to new treatment for joint inflammation
February 23, 2019 - A just-right fix for a tiny heart
February 23, 2019 - UMass Amherst scientist explores role of citrus peel in decreasing gut inflammation
February 23, 2019 - Owlstone Medical and Shanghai Renji Hospital collaborate to initiate breath biopsy lung cancer trial
February 23, 2019 - AMSBIO’s comprehensive portfolio of knock-out cell lines and lysates
February 23, 2019 - New app reliably determines physicians’ skills in forming accurate, efficient diagnoses
February 23, 2019 - Peripheral nerve injury can trigger the onset and spread of ALS, shows study
February 23, 2019 - Researchers uncover mechanisms that prevent tooth replacement in mice
February 23, 2019 - Once-a-day capsule offers new way to reduce symptoms of chronic breathlessness
February 23, 2019 - FDA Adds Boxed Warning for Increased Risk of Death with Gout Medicine Uloric (febuxostat)
February 23, 2019 - Phone-based intervention aids rheumatoid arthritis care
February 23, 2019 - Opioid epidemic makes eastern inroads and targets African-Americans
February 23, 2019 - New identified biomarker predicts patients who might benefit from HER2-targeted agents
February 23, 2019 - Study offers new insights into mechanisms of changes in erythrocytes under stress
February 23, 2019 - Antipsychotic polypharmacy may be beneficial for schizophrenia patients
February 23, 2019 - Researchers investigate how marijuana and tobacco co-use affects quit attempts by smokers
February 23, 2019 - Patients with diabetes mellitus have high risk of stable ischemic heart disease
February 23, 2019 - Transparency on healthcare prices played key role in Arizona health system’s turnaround
February 23, 2019 - A comprehensive, multinational review of peppers around the world
February 23, 2019 - Study finds modest decrease in burnout among physicians
February 23, 2019 - A simple change can drastically reduce unnecessary tests for urinary tract infections
February 23, 2019 - Deep Learning-Enhanced Device Detects Diabetic Retinopathy
February 23, 2019 - Researchers discover new binding partner for amyloid precursor protein
February 23, 2019 - Modest decrease seen in burnout among physicians, researchers say | News Center
February 23, 2019 - Transplanting bone marrow of young mice into old mice prevents cognitive decline
February 23, 2019 - Mogrify to accelerate novel IP and cell therapies using $3.7m USD funding
February 23, 2019 - Johns Hopkins study describes cells that may help speed bone repair
February 23, 2019 - Scientists demonstrate influence of food odors on proteostasis
February 23, 2019 - Researchers unlock the secret behind reproduction of fish called ‘Mary’
February 23, 2019 - Acupuncture Could Help Ease Menopausal Symptoms
February 23, 2019 - Researchers use AI to detect early signs of Alzheimer’s
February 23, 2019 - On recovery, vulnerability and ritual: An exhibit in white | News Center
February 23, 2019 - Memory Stored in Unexpected Region of the Brain
February 23, 2019 - Several health experts worldwide gather at EUDONORGAN event
February 23, 2019 - Discovery of potent compound in native California shrub may lead to treatment for Alzheimer’s
February 22, 2019 - Researchers create new map of the brain’s own immune system
February 22, 2019 - ICHE’s reviews on surgical infections, unnecessary urine tests, and nurses’ role in antibiotic stewardship
February 22, 2019 - UK Research and Innovation invests £200 million to create new generation of AI leaders
February 22, 2019 - Takeda collaboration to boost fight against Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases
February 22, 2019 - Heavy drinking may change DNA, leading to increased craving for alcohol
February 22, 2019 - U.S. opioid deaths jump fourfold in 20 years; epidemic shifts to Eastern states | News Center
February 22, 2019 - 5 Questions with William Turner on Diversity in Medicine
February 22, 2019 - HHS Finalizes Rule Seeking To Expel Planned Parenthood From Family Planning Program
February 22, 2019 - Researchers uncover biochemical pathway that may help identify drugs to treat Alzheimer’s
February 22, 2019 - Biologist uses new grant to find ways to eliminate schistosomiasis
February 22, 2019 - Bag-mask ventilation to help patients breathe during intubation prevents complications
February 22, 2019 - AbbVie Announces New Drug Application Accepted for Priority Review by FDA for Upadacitinib for Treatment of Moderate to Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis
February 22, 2019 - Nature versus nurture and addiction
February 22, 2019 - New website connects researchers with data experts, resources | News Center
February 22, 2019 - Today’s Concerns About Drug Prices Echo The Past
February 22, 2019 - CT and Doppler equipment have low accuracy in detecting cerebral vasospasm and ischemia
February 22, 2019 - Study finds out similarity in function between healthy retina cell and tumor cell
February 22, 2019 - CWRU awarded NIH grant to identify effective treatments for intimate partner violence
February 22, 2019 - Oncotype DX Not Cost-Effective for Low-Risk Breast Cancer
February 22, 2019 - Scientists discover new type of immune cells that are essential for forming heart valves
February 22, 2019 - Talk About Déjà Vu: Senators Set To Re-Enact Drug Price Hearing Of 60 Years Ago
February 22, 2019 - Genetic defect linked to pediatric liver disease identified
February 22, 2019 - New cellular atlas could provide a deeper insight into blinding diseases
February 22, 2019 - Growing number of cancer survivors, fewer providers point to challenge in meeting care needs
February 22, 2019 - Innovative compound offers a new therapeutic approach to treat multiple sclerosis
February 22, 2019 - $1.5 million grant to develop opioid treatment program for jail detainees
February 22, 2019 - FDA’s new proposed rule would update regulatory requirements for sunscreen products in the U.S
February 22, 2019 - Most Hip, Knee Replacements Last Decades, Study Finds
Beta 2 Microglobulin (B2M) Tumor Marker Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information

Beta 2 Microglobulin (B2M) Tumor Marker Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

What is a beta-2 microglobulin tumor marker test?

This test measures the amount of a protein called beta-2 microglobulin (B2M) in the blood, urine, or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). B2M is a type of tumor marker. Tumor markers are substances made by cancer cells or by normal cells in response to cancer in the body.

B2M is found on the surface of many cells and is released into the body. Healthy people have small amounts of B2M in their blood and urine.

  • People with cancers of the bone marrow and blood often have high levels of B2M in their blood or urine. These cancers include multiple myeloma, lymphoma, and leukemia.
  • High levels of B2M in cerebrospinal fluid can mean that cancer has spread to the brain and/or spinal cord.

A B2M tumor marker test is not used to diagnose cancer. But it can provide important information about your cancer, including how serious it is and how it may develop in the future.

Other names: total beta-2 microglobulin, β2-microglobulin, B2M

What is it used for?

A beta-2 microglobulin tumor marker test is most often given to people who have been diagnosed with certain cancers of the bone marrow or blood. The test may be used to:

  • Figure out the severity of cancer and whether it has spread. This process is known as cancer staging. The higher the stage, the more advanced the cancer is.
  • Predict disease development and guide treatment.
  • See if cancer treatment is effective.
  • See if cancer has spread to the brain and spinal cord.

Why do I need a beta-2 microglobulin tumor marker test?

You may need this test if you have been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, lymphoma, or leukemia. The test can show the stage of your cancer and whether your cancer treatment is working.

What happens during a beta-2 microglobulin tumor marker test?

A beta-2 microglobulin test is usually a blood test, but may also be given as a 24-hour urine test, or as a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis.

For a blood test, a health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.

For a 24-hour urine sample, your health care provider or a laboratory professional will give you a container to collect your urine and instructions on how to collect and store your samples. A 24-hour urine sample test usually includes the following steps:

  • Empty your bladder in the morning and flush that urine away. Record the time.
  • For the next 24 hours, save all your urine in the container provided.
  • Store your urine container in the refrigerator or a cooler with ice.
  • Return the sample container to your health provider’s office or the laboratory as instructed.

For a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis, a sample of spinal fluid will be collected in a procedure called a spinal tap (also known as a lumbar puncture). A spinal tap is usually done in a hospital. During the procedure:

  • You will lie on your side or sit on an exam table.
  • A health care provider will clean your back and inject an anesthetic into your skin, so you won’t feel pain during the procedure. Your provider may put a numbing cream on your back before this injection.
  • Once the area on your back is completely numb, your provider will insert a thin, hollow needle between two vertebrae in your lower spine. Vertebrae are the small backbones that make up your spine.
  • Your provider will withdraw a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid for testing. This will take about five minutes.
  • You’ll need to stay very still while the fluid is being withdrawn.
  • Your provider may ask you to lie on your back for an hour or two after the procedure. This may prevent you from getting a headache afterward.

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

You don’t need any special preparations for a blood or urine test.

You don’t need any special preparations for a CSF analysis, but you may be asked to empty your bladder and bowels before the test.

Are there any risks to the test?

There is very little risk to having a blood or urine test. After a blood test, you may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.

There is very little risk to having a spinal tap. You may feel a little pinch or pressure when the needle is inserted. After the test, you may get a headache, called a post-lumbar headache. About one in ten people will get a post-lumbar headache. This can last for several hours or up to a week or more. If you have a headache that lasts longer than several hours, talk to your health care provider. He or she may be able to provide treatment to relieve the pain. You may feel some pain or tenderness in your back at the site where the needle was inserted. You may also have some bleeding at the site.

What do the results mean?

If the test was used to find out how advanced your cancer is (cancer stage), the results may show how much cancer is in your body and whether it is likely to spread.

If the B2M test was used to check how well your treatment is working, your results may show:

  • Your B2M levels are increasing. This may mean your cancer is spreading, and/or your treatment is not working.
  • Your B2M levels are decreasing. This may mean your treatment is working.
  • Your B2M levels have not increased or decreased. This may mean your disease is stable.
  • Your B2M levels decreased, but then later increased. This may mean your cancer has come back after you’ve been treated.

If you have questions about your results, talk to your health care provider.

Is there anything else I need to know about a beta-2 microglobulin tumor marker test?

Beta-2 microglobulin tests are not always used as tumor marker tests for cancer patients. B2M levels are sometimes measured to:

  • Check for kidney damage in people with kidney disease.
  • Find out if a viral infection, such as HIV/AIDS, has affected the brain and/or spinal cord.
  • Check to see if disease has advanced in people with multiple sclerosis, a chronic disease affecting the brain and spinal cord.
Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles