Understanding MGUS and Early Myeloma: News and Notes

This week there are several interesting items in the news that help us understand how and why monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) occurs, and when it may or may not turn into active myeloma.

Can an Aspirin a Day Keep the Doctors Away?

A new study shows that regular aspirin use reduces the risk of myeloma. Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard University studied 2,395,458 person-years and showed a 39% lower myeloma risk among individuals with a cumulative average of more than 5 adult strength (325 mg) aspirin tablets per week.

Multiple Genetic Abnormalities in Myeloma: Implications for Treatment

A recent article in the medical journal Cancer Cell documents the widespread chromosomal abnormalities present in myeloma cells. The sobering data from this study, the largest of its kind, also demonstrate why the promise of individual therapies targeted against individual genes is fading--and why the Black Swan Research Initiative approach offers a smarter plan of attack against myeloma.

Black Swan Research Initiative Hits the Ground Running in 2014

The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) Black Swan Research Initiative (BSRI)  is moving into high gear in the new year.

Can Studies of a Single Cell Lead to the Cure for Myeloma?

In the current issue of the journal Science there is a special section called "Single-Cell Biology" (cells go solo). It is now technically feasible to study individual cells in great detail at the molecular, metabolic and functional levels. What is being discovered is that a reading of the "average" from 100, 1,000 or a million cells as has previously been done disguises the great diversity at the individual cell level.