The paper “Serum Beta-2-Microglobulin (SB2M) in Patients with Multiple Myeloma Treated with Alpha Interferon” [Journal of Medicine (1997) 28: 311– 318] reports on the influence of alpha interferon administration in the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Twenty newly diagnosed patients with MM were entered into the study. The researchers randomly assigned the 20 patients to the two groups. Ten patients were treated with both intermittent melphalan and sumiferon (treatment group), whereas the remaining 10 patients were treated only with intermittent melphalan (control group). The SB2M levels were measured before and at days 3, 8, and 15 and months 1, 3, and 6 from the start of therapy. The measurement of SB2M was performed using a radioimmunoassay method. The measurements before treatment are given here.
a. Plot the sample data for both groups using boxplots or normal probability plots.
b. Based on your findings in part (a), which procedure appears more appropriate for comparing the distributions of SB2M?
c. Is there significant evidence that there is a difference in the distribution of SB2M for the two groups?
d. Discuss the implications of your findings in part (c) for the evaluation of the influence of alpha interferon.

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