New genes found to be responsible for Multiple myeloma

Multiple MyelomaResearchers have found the genes responsible for a particular type of bone marrow cancer i.e. multiple myeloma. According to experts, this is the first of its kind of research.

This research has been done by the researchers from the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and published online in the Nature Genetics.

Researchers have found that genes can elevate the chances of developing a cancer by 30%. They used the technique called as genome wide association and scanned the DNA of 1675 patients of multiple myeloma and 5900 healthy people, and found two regions of DNA to be more common in people with multiple myeloma suggesting that they may be the cause of the disease.

According to experts, relatives of the patients suffering from multiple myeloma are four folds more prone to develop the cancerous cells and the study give strong insights to this finding.

Recently, no therapeutic strategy exists for multiple myeloma but it can control gradual advancement leading to three to five years of survival chances after diagnosis of the disease. This research raised a hope to design enhanced identification and therapeutic strategy.

Joint senior author Professor Richard Houlston from the ICR said,

This is a very exciting development in our understanding of multiple myeloma. This study is the first to confirm that some people are genetically predisposed to multiple myeloma.  Compared to other cancer types, relatively little is known about the biological processes that cause multiple myeloma. By identifying these genetic variants, we are closer to understanding how this cancer develops. Ultimately, this could lead to improvements in diagnosis and treatment.


Peter Broderick, Daniel Chubb, David C Johnson, Niels Weinhold, Asta Försti, Amy Lloyd, Bianca Olver, Yussanne P Ma, Sara E Dobbins, Brian A Walker, Faith E Davies, Walter A Gregory, J Anthony Child, Fiona M Ross, Graham H Jackson, Kai Neben, Anna Jauch, Per Hoffmann, Thomas W Mühleisen, Markus M Nöthen, Susanne Moebus, Ian P Tomlinson, Hartmut Goldschmidt, Kari Hemminki, Gareth J Morgan & Richard S Houlston, (2011). Common variation at 3p22.1 and 7p15.3 influences multiple myeloma risk. Nature Genetics, doi:10.1038/ng.993

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