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What Role, If Any, Does Obesity Play in MGUS and Multiple Myeloma?

By: Bruce Cleary
Posted: Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Premalignant-state monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) always precedes multiple myeloma. Because obesity and multiple myeloma were positively associated with one another in earlier studies, Marianna Thordardottir, MS, of the University of Iceland, Reykjavik, and colleagues, writing in the journal Blood Advances, reported the results of a population-based study designed to determine whether obesity is associated with an increased risk of MGUS (and light-chain MGUS [LC-MGUS]) and of patients progressing to MGUS and LC-MGUS.

The authors looked at data on more than 5700 cases and found 300 MGUS and 275 LC-MGUS cases and followed them for 8 years. Although no association between obesity and multiple myeloma or LC-MGUS was identified, they did find that high body mass index during midlife was linked with an increased risk of progression from MGUS and LC-MGUS to multiple myeloma and other lymphoproliferative diseases.

The study suggested that obesity could be the first risk factor capable of modification, but the authors noted that both large-scale population studies and clinical trials will be needed to understand the causes of MGUS/LC-MGUS and multiple myeloma.