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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


Kahler disease  listen  (KAH-ler dih-ZEEZ)

  A type of cancer that begins in plasma cells (white blood cells that produce antibodies). Also called multiple myeloma, myelomatosis, and plasma cell myeloma.

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Blood cell development; drawing shows the steps a blood stem cell goes through to become a red blood cell, platelet, or white blood cell. A myeloid stem cell becomes a red blood cell, a platelet, or a myeloblast, which then becomes a granulocyte (the types of granulocytes are eosinophils, basophils, and neutrophils). A lymphoid stem cell becomes a lymphoblast and then becomes a B lymphocyte, T lymphocyte, or natural killer cell. A B lymphocyte may become a plasma cell.
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Multiple myeloma; drawing shows normal plasma cells, multiple myeloma cells (abnormal plasma cells), and antibodies. Also shown is red marrow inside bone, where plasma cells are made.