|Other names||Lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma|
|Specialty||Hematology and oncology|
Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM), is a type of cancer affecting two types of B cells: lymphoplasmacytoid cells and plasma cells. Both cell types are white blood cells. WM is characterized by having high levels of a circulating antibody, immunoglobulin M (IgM), which is made and secreted by the cells involved in the disease. WM is an "indolent lymphoma" (i.e., one that tends to grow and spread slowly) and a type of lymphoproliferative disease which shares clinical characteristics with the indolent non-Hodgkin lymphomas.WM is commonly classified as a form of plasma cell dyscrasia. Similar to other plasma cell dyscrasias that, for example, lead to multiple myeloma, WM is commonly preceded by two clinically asymptomatic but progressively more pre-malignant phases, IgM monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (i.e. IgM MGUS) and smoldering Waldenström's macroglobulinemia. The WM spectrum of dysplasias differs from other spectrums of plasma cell dyscrasias in that it involves not only aberrant plasma cells but also aberrant lymphoplasmacytoid cells and that it involves IgM while other plasma dyscrasias involve other antibody isoforms.
Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. These contrast with benign tumors, which do not spread. Possible signs and symptoms include a lump, abnormal bleeding, prolonged cough, unexplained weight loss, and a change in bowel movements. While these symptoms may indicate cancer, they can also have other causes. Over 100 types of cancers affect humans.
White blood cells are the cells of the immune system that are involved in protecting the body against both infectious disease and foreign invaders. All white blood cells are produced and derived from multipotent cells in the bone marrow known as hematopoietic stem cells. Leukocytes are found throughout the body, including the blood and lymphatic system.
Immunoglobulin M (IgM) is one of several forms of antibody that are produced by vertebrates. IgM is the largest antibody, and it is the first antibody to appear in the response to initial exposure to an antigen. In the case of humans and other mammals that have been studied, the spleen, where plasmablasts responsible for antibody production reside, is the major site of specific IgM production.
WM is a rare disease, with only about 1,500 cases per year in the United States. WM occurs more frequently in older adults.While the disease is incurable, it is treatable. Because of its indolent nature, many patients are able to lead active lives, and when treatment is required, may experience years of symptom-free remission.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Remission is either the reduction or disappearance of the symptoms of a disease. The term may also be used to refer to the period during which this diminution occurs. A remission may be considered a partial remission or a complete remission. For example, a partial remission for cancer may be defined as a 50% or greater reduction in the measurable parameters of tumor growth as may be found on physical examination, radiologic study, or by biomarker levels from a blood or urine test. Each disease or even clinical trial can have its own definition of a partial remission.
Signs and symptoms of WM include weakness, fatigue, weight loss, and chronic oozing of blood from the nose and gums.Peripheral neuropathy occurs in 10% of patients. Enlargement of the lymph nodes, spleen, and/or liver are present in 30–40% of cases. Other possible signs and symptoms include blurring or loss of vision, headache, and (rarely) stroke or coma.
Weakness is a symptom of a number of different conditions. The causes are many and can be divided into conditions that have true or perceived muscle weakness. True muscle weakness is a primary symptom of a variety of skeletal muscle diseases, including muscular dystrophy and inflammatory myopathy. It occurs in neuromuscular junction disorders, such as myasthenia gravis.
Weight loss, in the context of medicine, health, or physical fitness, refers to a reduction of the total body mass, due to a mean loss of fluid, body fat or adipose tissue or lean mass, namely bone mineral deposits, muscle, tendon, and other connective tissue. Weight loss can either occur unintentionally due to malnourishment or an underlying disease or arise from a conscious effort to improve an actual or perceived overweight or obese state. "Unexplained" weight loss that is not caused by reduction in calorific intake or exercise is called cachexia and may be a symptom of a serious medical condition. Intentional weight loss is commonly referred to as slimming.
Peripheral neuropathy, often shortened to neuropathy, is a general term describing disease affecting the peripheral nerves, meaning nerves beyond the brain and spinal cord. Damage to peripheral nerves may impair sensation, movement, gland or organ function depending on which nerves are affected; in other words, neuropathy affecting motor, sensory, or autonomic nerves result in different symptoms. More than one type of nerve may be affected simultaneously. Peripheral neuropathy may be acute or chronic, and may be reversible or permanent.
Waldenström's macroglobulinemia is characterized by an uncontrolled clonal proliferation of terminally differentiated B lymphocytes. The most commonly associated mutations, based on whole-genome sequencing of 30 patients, are a somatic mutation in MYD88 (90% of patients) and a somatic mutation in CXCR4 (27% of patients).An association has been demonstrated with the locus 6p21.3 on chromosome 6. There is a two- to threefold increased risk of WM in people with a personal history of autoimmune diseases with autoantibodies, and a particularly elevated risk associated with liver inflammation, human immunodeficiency virus, and rickettsiosis.
Myeloid differentiation primary response 88 (MYD88) is a protein that, in humans, is encoded by the MYD88 gene.
C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR-4) also known as fusin or CD184 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the CXCR4 gene.
Chromosome 6 is one of the 23 pairs of chromosomes in humans. People normally have two copies of this chromosome. Chromosome 6 spans more than 170 million base pairs and represents between 5.5 and 6% of the total DNA in cells. It contains the Major Histocompatibility Complex, which contains over 100 genes related to the immune response, and plays a vital role in organ transplantation.
There are genetic factors, with first-degree relatives of WM patients shown to have a highly increased risk of also developing the disease.There is also evidence to suggest that environmental factors, including exposure to farming, pesticides, wood dust, and organic solvents, may influence the development of WM.
A genetic disorder is a genetic problem caused by one or more abnormalities formed in the genome. Most genetic disorders are quite rare and affect one person in every several thousands or millions. The earliest known genetic condition in a hominid was in the fossil species Paranthropus robustus, with over a third of individuals displaying Amelogenesis imperfecta.
Although believed to be a sporadic disease, studies have shown increased susceptibility within families, indicating a genetic component.A mutation in gene MYD88 has been found to occur frequently in patients. WM cells show only minimal changes in cytogenetic and gene expression studies. Their miRNA signature however differs from their normal counterpart. It is therefore believed that epigenetic modifications play a crucial role in the disease.
In the field of molecular biology, gene expression profiling is the measurement of the activity of thousands of genes at once, to create a global picture of cellular function. These profiles can, for example, distinguish between cells that are actively dividing, or show how the cells react to a particular treatment. Many experiments of this sort measure an entire genome simultaneously, that is, every gene present in a particular cell.
Epigenetics is the study of heritable phenotype changes that do not involve alterations in the DNA sequence. The Greek prefix epi- in epigenetics implies features that are "on top of" or "in addition to" the traditional genetic basis for inheritance. Epigenetics most often denotes changes that affect gene activity and expression, but can also be used to describe any heritable phenotypic change. Such effects on cellular and physiological phenotypic traits may result from external or environmental factors, or be part of normal development. The standard definition of epigenetics requires these alterations to be heritable, either in the progeny of cells or of organisms.
Comparative genomic hybridization identified the following chromosomal abnormalities: deletions of 6q23 and 13q14, and gains of 3q13-q28, 6p and 18q.FGFR3 is overexpressed. The following signalling pathways have been implicated:
The protein Src tyrosine kinase is overexpressed in Waldenström's macroglobulinemia cells compared with control B cells.Inhibition of Src arrests the cell cycle at phase G1 and has little effect on the survival of WM or normal cells.
MicroRNAs involved in Waldenström's:
MicroRNA-155 regulates the proliferation and growth of WM cells in vitro and in vivo, by inhibiting MAPK/ERK, PI3/AKT, and NF-κB pathways.
In WM-cells, histone deacetylases and histone-modifying genes are de-regulated.
Bone marrow tumour cells express the following antigen targets CD20 (98.3%), CD22 (88.3%), CD40 (83.3%), CD52 (77.4%), IgM (83.3%), MUC1 core protein (57.8%), and 1D10 (50%).
Symptoms include blurring or loss of vision, headache, and (rarely) stroke or coma are due to the effects of the IgM paraprotein, which may cause autoimmune phenomenon or cryoglobulinemia. Other symptoms of WM are due to the hyperviscosity syndrome, which is present in 6–20% of patients.This is attributed to the IgM monoclonal protein increasing the viscosity of the blood by forming aggregates to each other, binding water through their carbohydrate component and by their interaction with blood cells.
A diagnosis of Waldenström's macroglobulinemia depends on a significant monoclonal IgM spike evident in blood tests and malignant cells consistent with the disease in bone marrow biopsy samples.Blood tests show the level of IgM in the blood and the presence of proteins, or tumor markers, that are the key symptoms of WM. A bone marrow biopsy provides a sample of bone marrow, usually from the back of the pelvis bone. The sample is extracted through a needle and examined under a microscope. A pathologist identifies the particular lymphocytes that indicate WM. Flow cytometry may be used to examine markers on the cell surface or inside the lymphocytes.
Additional tests such as computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan may be used to evaluate the chest, abdomen, and pelvis, particularly swelling of the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen. A skeletal survey can help distinguish between WM and multiple myeloma.Anemia is typically found in 80% of patients with WM. A low white blood cell count, and low platelet count in the blood may be observed. A low level of neutrophils (a specific type of white blood cell) may also be found in some individuals with WM.
Chemistry tests include lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels, uric acid levels, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), kidney and liver function, total protein levels, and an albumin-to-globulin ratio. The ESR and uric acid level may be elevated. Creatinine is occasionally elevated and electrolytes are occasionally abnormal. A high blood calcium level is noted in approximately 4% of patients. The LDH level is frequently elevated, indicating the extent of Waldenström's macroglobulinemia–related tissue involvement. Rheumatoid factor, cryoglobulins, direct antiglobulin test and cold agglutinin titre results can be positive. Beta-2 microglobulin and C-reactive protein test results are not specific for Waldenström's macroglobulinemia. Beta-2 microglobulin is elevated in proportion to tumor mass. Coagulation abnormalities may be present. Prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time, thrombin time, and fibrinogen tests should be performed. Platelet aggregation studies are optional. Serum protein electrophoresis results indicate evidence of a monoclonal spike but cannot establish the spike as IgM. An M component with beta-to-gamma mobility is highly suggestive of Waldenström's macroglobulinemia. Immunoelectrophoresis and immunofixation studies help identify the type of immunoglobulin, the clonality of the light chain, and the monoclonality and quantitation of the paraprotein. High-resolution electrophoresis and serum and urine immunofixation are recommended to help identify and characterize the monoclonal IgM paraprotein.
The light chain of the monoclonal protein is usually the kappa light chain. At times, patients with Waldenström's macroglobulinemia may exhibit more than one M protein. Plasma viscosity must be measured. Results from characterization studies of urinary immunoglobulins indicate that light chains (Bence Jones protein), usually of the kappa type, are found in the urine. Urine collections should be concentrated.
Bence Jones proteinuria is observed in approximately 40% of patients and exceeds 1 g/d in approximately 3% of patients. Patients with findings of peripheral neuropathy should have nerve conduction studies and antimyelin associated glycoprotein serology.
Criteria for diagnosis of Waldenström's macroglobulinemia include:
1. IgM monoclonal gammopathy that excludes chronic lymphocytic leukemia and Mantle cell lymphoma
2. Evidence of anemia, constitutional symptoms, hyperviscosity, swollen lymph nodes, or enlargement of the liver and spleen that can be attributed to an underlying lymphoproliferative disorder.
There is no single accepted treatment for WM. 80%) but complete response rates are low (0–15%). The medication ibrutinib targets the MYD88 L265P mutation induced activation of Bruton's tyrosine kinase. In a cohort study of previously treated patients, ibrutinib induced responses in 91% of patients, and at 2 years 69% of patients had no progression of disease and 95% were alive. Based on this study, the Food and Drug Administration approved ibrutinib for use in WM in 2015.There is marked variation in clinical outcome due to gaps in knowledge of the disease's molecular basis. Objective response rates are high (>
There are different treatment flowcharts: Treonand mSMART.
WM patients are at higher risk of developing second cancers than the general population, but it is not yet clear whether treatments are contributory.
In the absence of symptoms, many clinicians will recommend simply monitoring the patient;Waldenström himself stated "let well do" for such patients. These asymptomatic cases are now classified as two successively more pre-malignant phases, IgM monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (i.e. IgM MGUS) and smoldering Waldenström's macroglobulinemia.
But on occasion, the disease can be fatal, as it was to the French president Georges Pompidou, who died in office in 1974. Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran, also suffered from Waldenström's macroglobulinemia, which resulted in his ill-fated trip to the United States for therapy in 1979, leading to the Iran hostage crisis.
Should treatment be started it should address both the paraprotein level and the lymphocytic B-cells.
In 2002, a panel at the International Workshop on Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia agreed on criteria for the initiation of therapy. They recommended starting therapy in patients with constitutional symptoms such as recurrent fever, night sweats, fatigue due to anemia, weight loss, progressive symptomatic lymphadenopathy or spleen enlargement, and anemia due to bone marrow infiltration. Complications such as hyperviscosity syndrome, symptomatic sensorimotor peripheral neuropathy, systemic amyloidosis, kidney failure, or symptomatic cryoglobulinemia were also suggested as indications for therapy.
Treatment includes the monoclonal antibody rituximab, sometimes in combination with chemotherapeutic drugs such as chlorambucil, cyclophosphamide, or vincristine or with thalidomide.Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, may also be used in combination. Plasmapheresis can be used to treat the hyperviscosity syndrome by removing the paraprotein from the blood, although it does not address the underlying disease. Ibrutinib is another agent that has been approved for use in this condition.
Recently, autologous bone marrow transplantation has been added to the available treatment options.
When primary or secondary resistance invariably develops, salvage therapy is considered. Allogeneic stem cell transplantation can induce durable remissions for heavily pre-treated patients.
As of October 2010, there have been a total of 44 clinical trials on Waldenström's macroglobulinemia, excluding transplantation treatments. Of these, 11 were performed on previously untreated patients, 14 in patients with relapsed or refractory Waldenström's.A database of clinical trials investigating Waldenström's macroglobulinemia is maintained by the National Institutes of Health in the US.
Patients with polymorphic variants (alleles) FCGR3A-48 and -158 were associated with improved categorical responses to rituximab-based treatments.
Current medical treatments result in survival of some longer than 10 years; in part this is because better diagnostic testing means early diagnosis and treatments. Older diagnosis and treatments resulted in published reports of median survival of approximately 5 years from time of diagnosis.Currently, median survival is 6.5 years. In rare instances, WM progresses to multiple myeloma.
The International Prognostic Scoring System for Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia (IPSSWM) is a predictive model to characterise long-term outcomes.According to the model, factors predicting reduced survival are:
The risk categories are:
Five-year survival rates for these categories are 87%, 68% and 36%, respectively.The corresponding median survival rates are 12, 8, and 3.5 years.
The IPSSWM has been shown to be reliable.It is also applicable to patients on a rituximab-based treatment regimen. An additional predictive factor is elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH).
Of all cancers involving the lymphocytes, 1% of cases are WM.
WM is a rare disorder, with fewer than 1,500 cases occurring in the United States annually.The median age of onset of WM is between 60 and 65 years, with some cases occurring in late teens.
WM was first described by Jan G. Waldenström (1906–1996) in 1944 in two patients with bleeding from the nose and mouth, anemia, decreased levels of fibrinogen in the blood (hypofibrinogenemia), swollen lymph nodes, neoplastic plasma cells in bone marrow, and increased viscosity of the blood due to increased levels of a class of heavy proteins called macroglobulins.
For a time, WM was considered to be related to multiple myeloma because of the presence of monoclonal gammopathy and infiltration of the bone marrow and other organs by plasmacytoid lymphocytes. The new World Health Organization (WHO) classification, however, places WM under the category of lymphoplasmacytic lymphomas, itself a subcategory of the indolent (low-grade) non-Hodgkin lymphomas.In recent years, there have been significant advances in the understanding and treatment of WM.
One recent investigation showed that a population of cells, lacking both B-cell and plasma cell markers, has characteristics of cancer-initiating cells in Waldenström's macroglobulinemia.
Multiple myeloma, also known as plasma cell myeloma, is a cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell which normally produces antibodies. Often, no symptoms are noticed initially. When advanced, bone pain, bleeding, frequent infections, and anemia may occur. Complications may include amyloidosis.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many lymphocytes. Early on there are typically no symptoms. Later non-painful lymph nodes swelling, feeling tired, fever, or weight loss for no clear reason may occur. Enlargement of the spleen and a low red blood cells (anemia) may also occur. It typically worsens gradually.
Hybridoma technology is a method for producing large numbers of identical antibodies. This process starts by injecting a mouse with an antigen that provokes an immune response. A type of white blood cell, the B cell, produces antibodies that bind to the injected antigen. These antibody producing B-cells are then harvested from the mouse and, in turn, fused with immortal B cell cancer cells, a myeloma, to produce a hybrid cell line called a hybridoma, which has both the antibody-producing ability of the B-cell and the exaggerated longevity and reproductivity of the myeloma. The hybridomas can be grown in culture, each culture starting with one viable hybridoma cell, producing cultures each of which consists of genetically identical hybridomas which produce one antibody per culture (monoclonal) rather than mixtures of different antibodies (polyclonal). The myeloma cell line that is used in this process is selected for its ability to grow in tissue culture and for an absence of antibody synthesis. In contrast to polyclonal antibodies, which are mixtures of many different antibody molecules, the monoclonal antibodies produced by each hybridoma line are all chemically identical.
Cryoglobulinemia is a medical condition in which the blood contains large amounts of pathological cold sensitive antibodies called cryoglobulins – proteins that become insoluble at reduced temperatures. This should be contrasted with cold agglutinins, which cause agglutination of red blood cells.
Lenalidomide is a derivative of thalidomide approved in the United States in 2005.
Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) is a plasma cell dyscrasia in which plasma cells or other types of antibody-producing cells secrete a myeloma protein, i.e. an abnormal antibody, into the blood; this abnormal protein is usually found and in the blood and/or urine during standard laboratory blood or urine tests. MGUS resembles multiple myeloma and similar diseases, but the levels of antibodies are lower, the number of plasma cells in the bone marrow is lower, and it rarely has symptoms or major problems. However, since MGUS can lead to multiple myeloma which develops at the rate of about 1.5% a year, yearly monitoring is recommended.
A Bence Jones protein is a monoclonal globulin protein or immunoglobulin light chain found in the urine, with a molecular weight of 22-24 kDa. Detection of Bence Jones protein may be suggestive of multiple myeloma or Waldenström's macroglobulinemia.
CD34 is a transmembrane phosphoglycoprotein protein encoded by the CD34 gene in humans, mice, rats and other species.
Hyperviscosity syndrome is a group of symptoms triggered by an increase in the viscosity of the blood. Symptoms of high blood viscosity include spontaneous bleeding from mucous membranes, visual disturbances due to retinopathy, and neurologic symptoms ranging from headache and vertigo to seizures and coma.
Monoclonal gammopathy, also known as paraproteinemia, is the presence of excessive amounts of myeloma protein or monoclonal gamma globulin in the blood. It is usually due to an underlying immunoproliferative disorder or hematologic neoplasms, especially multiple myeloma. It is sometimes considered equivalent to plasma cell dyscrasia. The most common form of the disease is monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance.
Plasma cell dyscrasias are a spectrum of progressively more severe monoclonal gammopathies in which a clone or multiple clones of pre-malignant or malignant plasma cells over-produce and secrete into the blood stream a myeloma protein, i.e. an abnormal monoclonal antibody or portion thereof. The exception to this rule is the disorder termed non-secretory multiple myeloma; this disorder is a form of plasma cell dyscrasia in which no myeloma protein is detected in serum or urine of individuals who have clear evidence of an increase in clonal bone marrow plasma cells and/or evidence of clonal plasma cell-mediated tissue injury. Here, a clone of plasma cells refers to group of plasma cells that are abnormal in that have an identical genetic identity and therefore are descendants of a single genetically distinct ancestor cell.
Plasma cell leukemia (PCL) is a plasma cell dyscrasia, i.e. a disease involving the malignant degeneration of a subtype of white blood cells called plasma cells. It is the terminal stage and most aggressive form of these dyscrasias, constituting 2% to 4% of all cases of plasma cell malignancies. PCL may present as primary plasma cell leukemia, i.e. in patients without prior history of a plasma cell dyscrasia or as secondary plasma cell dyscrasia, i.e. in patients previously diagnosed with a history of its predecessor dyscrasia, multiple myeloma. The two forms of PCL appear to be at least partially distinct from each other. In all cases, however, PCL is an extremely serious, life-threatening, and therapeutically challenging disease.
Schnitzler syndrome or Schnitzler's syndrome is a rare disease characterised by onset around middle age of chronic hives (urticaria) and periodic fever, bone pain and joint pain, weight loss, malaise, fatigue, swollen lymph glands and enlarged spleen and liver.
Monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis (MBL) is an asymptomatic condition in which individuals have increased blood levels of particular subtypes of monoclonal lymphocytes. This increase must persist for at least 3 months. The lymphocyte subtypes are B-cells that share certain features with the abnormal clones of lymphocytes that circulate in chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocyte lymphoma (CLL/SLL) or, less frequently, other types of B-cell malignancies. Some individuals with these circulating B-cells develop CLL/SLL or the lymphoma types indicated by their circulating monoclonal B-cells. Hence, MBL is a premalignant disorder
Dactolisib is an imidazoquinoline derivative acting as a PI3K inhibitor. It also inhibits mTOR. It is being investigated as a possible cancer treatment.
Light chain deposition disease (LCDD) is a rare blood cell disease which is characterized by deposition of fragments of infection-fighting immunoglobulins, called light chains (LCs), in the body. LCs are normally cleared by the kidneys, but in LCDD, these light chain deposits damage organs and cause disease. The kidneys are almost always affected and this often leads to kidney failure. About half of people with light chain deposition disease also have a plasma cell dyscrasia, a spectrum of diseases that includes multiple myeloma, Waldenström's macroglobulinemia, and the monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance premalignant stages of these two diseases. Unlike in AL amyloidosis, in which light chains are laid down in characteristic amyloid deposits, in LCDD, light chains are deposited in non-amyloid granules.
Bing–Neel syndrome (BNS) is an extremely rare neurologic complication of Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM), which is a chronic lymphoproliferative disorder. There's no clear definition of BNS but what is known so far is that unlike WM, It involves the central nervous system (CNS), infiltrated by differentiated malignant B cells and by having hyperglobulinemia. This infiltration increases blood viscosity, which impairs blood circulation through small blood vessels of the brain and the eye. Some scientists proposed that a person diagnosed with BNS is typically classified into Group A and Group B depending on whether or not plasma cells are present within the brain parenchyma, leptomeninges, dura, and/or the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). Symptoms are diverse and nonspecific, and they can vary depending on which aspect of the CNS is being affected. Symptoms can include a range of severity of nausea and seizures. Since the symptoms vary, there are multiple treatment options to treat the symptoms for this non-curable disease. Although there is no specific set of diagnosis for BNS, different combinations of diagnostic tools are used to narrow down and conclude the presence of BNS.
Smouldering myeloma, is a disease classified as intermediate in a spectrum of step-wise progressive diseases termed plasma cell dyscrasias. In this spectrum of diseases, a clone of plasma cells secreting monoclonal paraprotein causes the relatively benign disease of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance. This clone proliferates and may slowly evolve into more aggressive sub-clones that cause smouldering multiple myeloma. Further and more rapid evolution causes the overtly malignant stage of multiple myeloma and can subsequently lead to the extremely malignant stage of secondary plasma cell leukemia. Thus, some patients with smouldering myeloma progress to multiple myeloma and plasma cell leukemia. Smouldering myeloma, however, is not a malignant disease. It is characterised as a pre-malignant disease that lacks symptoms but is associated with bone marrow biopsy showing the presence of an abnormal number of clonal myeloma cells, blood and/or urine containing a myeloma protein, and a significant risk of developing into a malignant disease.
MicroRNA 93 is a functional RNA and a microRNA that in humans is encoded by the MIR93 gene.
Frequency of lymphoid neoplasms. (Source: Modified from WHO Blue Book on Tumour of Hematopoietic and Lymphoid Tissues. 2001, p. 2001.)