What is the role of genetics in the etiology of multiple myeloma (MM)?

Updated: May 11, 2021
  • Author: Dhaval Shah, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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MM has been reported in two or more first-degree relatives and in identical twins, although no evidence suggests a hereditary basis for the disease. A study by the Mayo clinic found MM in eight siblings from a group of 440 patients; these eight siblings had different heavy chains but the same light chains.

Some studies have shown that abnormalities of certain oncogenes, such as c-myc, are associated with development early in the course of plasma cell tumors and that abnormalities of oncogenes such as N-ras and K-ras are associated with development after bone marrow relapse. Abnormalities of tumor suppressor genes, such as TP53, have been shown to be associated with spread to other organs. [15]

Ongoing research is investigating whether human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-Cw5 or HLA-Cw2 may play a role in the pathogenesis of multiple myeloma.

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