Genetics and cytogenetics of multiple myeloma: a workshop report.

Cancer Res 2004 Feb;64(4):1546-58

Division of Hematology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

Much has been learned regarding the biology and clinical implications of genetic abnormalities in multiple myeloma. Because of recent advances in the field, an International Workshop was held in Paris in february of 2003. This summary describes the consensus recommendations arising from that meeting with special emphasis on novel genetic observations. For instance, it is increasingly clear that translocations involving the immunoglobin heavy-chain locus are important for the pathogenesis of one-half of patients. As a corollary, it also clear that the remaining patients, lacking IgH translocations, have hyperdiploidy as the hallmark of their disease. Several important genetic markers are associated with a shortened survival such as chromosome 13 monosomy, hypodiploidy, and others. The events leading the transformation of the monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) to myeloma are still unclear. One of the few differential genetic lesions between myeloma and MGUS is the presence of ras mutations in the latter. Gene expression platforms are capable of detecting many of the genetic aberrations found in the clonal cells of myeloma. Areas in need of further study were identified. The study of the genetic aberrations will likely form the platform for targeted therapy for the disease.

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February 2004
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