Prognostic Biomarkers in the Progression From MGUS to Multiple Myeloma: A Systematic Review

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Multiple myeloma (MM), characterized by malignant plasma cells in the bone marrow, is consistently preceded by asymptomatic premalignant stage monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). These MGUS patients have an annual risk of 1% to progress to MM. Clinical, imaging, and genomic (genetic and epigenetic) factors were identified, whose presence increased the risk of progression from MGUS to MM. In this systematic review we summarize the currently identified clinical, imaging, and genomic biomarkers suggested to increase the progression risk or shown to be differentially expressed/present between both cohorts of patients. Despite the wide range of proposed markers, there are still no reliable biomarkers to individually predict which MGUS patient will progress to MM and which will not. Research on biomarkers in the progression from MGUS to MM will give more insight in the unknown pathogenesis of this hematological malignancy. This would improve research by elucidating new pathways and potential therapeutic targets as well as clinical management by closer follow-up and earlier treatment of high-risk MGUS patients.

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