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Multiple myeloma stem cells are likely from normal stem cells subjected to mutation, progenitor cells which regain self-renewal potential via gene mutation or the matured cells that have been completely differentiated. The specific marker of multiple myeloma stem cells are still in the research.


To review the source, biological characteristics and research progress of multiple myeloma stem cells.


A computer-based online retrieval was performed to search papers regarding multiple myeloma stem cells published between January 1998 and May 2015 in Wanfang database using the Chinese key words “multiple myeloma stem cells”. Related articles were also retrieved in PubMed published between January 1998 and May 2012 using the English key words “stem cells, multiple myeloma, tumor”. Totally 251 articles were retrieved, and 31 of them were suitable for final analysis.


Multiple myeloma stem cells may originate from memory B cells which have the character of self-renewal and differentiation potency. CD19 and CD20 are the surface biomarkers of multiple myeloma stem cells that have been widely used. Study of multiple myeloma stem cells is helpful to clarify the growth mechanism, biological characteristics, clinical treatment and prognosis of multiple myeloma.


Li Q, Liu ZS. Source and differentiation of multiple myeloma stem cells. Zhongguo Zuzhi Gongcheng Yanjiu. 2013;17(10):1891-1895.

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