From Myeloma Precursor Disease to Multiple Myeloma: New Diagnostic Concepts and Opportunities for Early Intervention

Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.
Clinical Cancer Research (Impact Factor: 8.19). 03/2011; 17(6):1243-52. DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-10-1822
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Since monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) was first described more than 30 years ago, the definition of the entity has evolved. Today, 3 distinct clinical MGUS subtypes have been defined: non-immunoglobulin M (IgM; IgG or IgA) MGUS, IgM MGUS, and light chain MGUS. Each clinical MGUS subtype is characterized by unique intermediate stages and progression events. Although we now have strong evidence that multiple myeloma is consistently preceded by a precursor state at the molecular level, there is urgent need to better understand mechanisms that regulate transformation from precursor to full-blown multiple myeloma. In the future, if such knowledge was available, it would allow clinicians to define high-risk and low-risk precursor patients for a more tailored clinical management. Also, it would provide insights on the individual patient's disease biology, which, in turn, can be used for targeted and more individualized treatment strategies. On the basis of current clinical guidelines, patients diagnosed with MGUS and smoldering myeloma should not be treated outside of clinical trials. In the near future, it seems reasonable to believe that high-risk precursor patients will likely become candidates for early treatment strategies. In this review, we discuss novel insights from recent studies and propose future directions of relevance for clinical management and research studies.

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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) presents a high risk of progression to symptomatic MM (sy-MM). Herein, we analyzed some predictors of development of sy-MM. In 144 patients with SMM, we also compared the risk of progression predicted by bone marrow plasma cell (BMPC) involvement on the bone marrow biopsy (BMB) versus bone marrow aspirates (BMA). METHODS: From January 1980 to July 2010, 397 patients with SMM observed in 12 centers of the Multiple Myeloma GIMEMA (Gruppo Italiano Malattie EMatologiche dell'Adulto) Latium Working Group have been analyzed. At progression to sy-MM, the severity of clinical presentation was graded according to the need of intensive supportive care. RESULTS: After a median follow-up of 135 months, the cumulative incidence of progression rates to sy-MM were 45%, 55%, and 75% at 10, 15, and 20 years, respectively. Hemoglobin ≤12.5 g/dL, monoclonal component ≥2.5 g/dL, and BMPC ≥60% were the only parameters negatively affecting the cumulative incidence of progression. In particular, 10 of 397 (2.5%) patients with BMPC ≥60% had a 5.6-fold increased risk of fast progression (within 2 years), which occurred with severe clinical manifestations in 62% of cases. BMB was more sensitive for the detection of BMPC involvement, even though BMA was a more reliable indicator of a rapid progression to sy-MM. CONCLUSIONS: The highest risk of rapid evolution to sy-MM and the severity of clinical manifestation at the progression suggest that SMM patients with a BMPC ≥60% should be treated soon after diagnosis. Moreover, BMPC is a more reliable index for progression to sy-MM if assessed by BMA. Cancer 2012. © 2012 American Cancer Society.
    Cancer 11/2012; 118(22). DOI:10.1002/cncr.27657 · 4.90 Impact Factor

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