the durie/salmon staging system continues to be used worldwide in patients with multiple myeloma. however, in recent years, new systems have been proposed. the international myeloma working group performed a retrospective study with 11,179 patients and proposed an "international staging system" utilizing serum levels of a2 microglobulin and albumin. in addition, current research has focused on the usefulness of cytogenetic and molecular data as prognostic factors. these data suggest that these parameters are powerful discriminators of a poor prognostic group of myeloma patients. indeed, these prognostic indexes have been utilized in clinical trials, with interesting and encouraging results.