Request serum free light chains instead of BJP when investigating for a monoclonal gammopathy.
BJP testing will be restricted to haematologists as from Monday 31 July 2023.
BJP testing will only be performed when requested by a haematologist, or if testing has been authorised by a haematologist and is clearly stated on the request form.
Bence Jones Protein was first described in 1845 by Dr Henry Bence Jones but the term BJP came into use in 1880. Checking for BJP (monoclonal free light chains) has been routinely performed when screening for monoclonal gammopathies until the introduction of serum free light chains (sFLC) in the early 2000s.
Studies (referenced in the IMWG guideline below) have found the combination of serum electrophoresis/immunofixations and sFLC is 99.5% sensitive, which is as sensitive as BJP for detecting monoclonal gammopathies. The exception is primary amyloidosis (AL) where the combination of BJP, sFLC and serum electrophoresis/immunofixations is required to detect 98% of cases of primary amyloidosis.
Based on this data, the International Myeloma Working Group guidelines for serum free light chain analysis recommend that sFLC replaces BJP testing except when investigating AL. International Myeloma Working Group guidelines for sFLC.
For the latest guidelines and criteria for the diagnosis of myeloma, visit The International Myeloma Working Group website.
There is no change to the use of sFLC.