Top Five Trends in Myeloma News for 2018

As the new year begins, important developments that will impact patients have been in the news, ranging from molecular testing to new therapies for myeloma. The depth and scope of these reports reflect what I think are five key trends for 2018 and beyond.

Gene Editing, Regulating DNA Sequencing Tests, and How Your Body Gets Its Energy

Scientific breakthroughs in the news this week promise many practical implications for myeloma patients.

Extra p53 genes in elephants prevent cancer: how about for myeloma patients?

A recent provocative report by Lisa Abegglen and a team from the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah showed that elephants from the San Diego Zoo had 20 extra copies of the p53 gene. Since p53 is a tumor suppressor gene, the researchers linked this to the low occurrence of cancer in these elephants, even in old age. So, is this correlation correct?

New study links inherited genetic variant to poorer outcome for myeloma patients

Everyone’s genes are slightly different. The differences are grouped into categories, which are called polymorphisms. A gene can be different at a single point—one of the nucleotides which string together the DNA chain of genes and sequences controlling gene function. A single-point difference is called a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP).

What Causes Myeloma? New Study Suggests Random Mutations Are Important

A new study published in Science magazine and reported in the New York Times this week shows that random mutations in normal tissues are more important than previously thought. The study, conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers Cristian Tomasetti and Bert Vogelstein, did not analyze myeloma, but developed principles that apply broadly for all cancers.