Chromosomal defects in multiple myeloma

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Multiple myeloma is a plasma cell neoplasm driven by primary (e.g. hyperdiploidy; IGH translocations) and secondary (e.g. 1q21 gains/amplifications; del(17p); MYC translocations) chromosomal events. These are important to detect as they influence prognosis, therapeutic response and disease survival. Currently, cytogenetic testing is most commonly performed by interphase fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) on aspirated bone marrow samples. A number of variations to FISH methodology are available, including prior plasma cell enrichment and incorporation of immunophenotypic plasma cell identification. Other molecular methods are increasingly being utilised to provide a genome-wide view at high resolution (e.g. single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) microarray analysis) and these can detect abnormalities in most cases. Despite their wide application at diagnostic assessment, both FISH and SNP-array have relatively low sensitivity, limiting their use for identification of prognostically significant low-level sub-clones or for disease monitoring. Next-generation sequencing is increasingly being used to detect mutations and new FISH techniques such as by flow cytometry are in development and may address some of the current test limitations. Here we review the primary and secondary cytogenetic aberrations in myeloma and discuss the range of techniques available for their assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101168
Number of pages12
JournalBlood Reviews
Early online date9 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


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