(a) Identification. A Bence-Jones proteins immunological test system is a device that consists of the reagents used to measure by immunochemical techniques the Bence-Jones proteins in urine and plasma. Immunoglobulin molecules normally consist of pairs of polypeptide chains (subunits) of unequal size (light chains and heavy chains) bound together by several disulfide bridges. In some cancerous conditions, there is a proliferation of one plasma cell (antibody-producing cell) with excess production of light chains of one specific kind (monoclonal light chains). These free homogeneous light chains not associated with an immunoglobulin molecule can be found in urine and plasma, and have been called Bence-Jones proteins. Measurement of Bence-Jones proteins and determination that they are monoclonal aid in the diagnosis of multiple myeloma (malignant proliferation of plasma cells), Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia (increased production of large immunoglobulins by spleen and bone marrow cells), leukemia (cancer of the blood-forming organs), and lymphoma (cancer of the lymphoid tissue).
(b) Classification. Class II (performance standards).