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Multiple myeloma (MM) and monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) are characterized cytogenetically by 14q32 rearrangements, -13/13q-, and various trisomies. Occasionally, karyotypic patterns characteristic of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)/acute myeloid leukemia (AML) occur in MM, often signifying therapy-related (t)-MDS/t-AML. Comparison of cytogenetic features in all published MMs (n = 993) and t-MDS/t-AML post-MM (n = 117) revealed significant differences in complexity and ploidy levels and in most genomic changes. Thus, these features often can be used to distinguish between MM and t-MDS/t-AML. Rarely, myeloid-associated aberrations are detected in MM without any signs of MDS/AML. To characterize such abnormalities in MM/MGUS, we ascertained all 122 MM and 26 MGUS/smoldering MM (SMM) cases analyzed in our department. Sixty-six (54%) MMs and 8 (31%) MGUS/SMMs were karyotypically abnormal, of which 6 (9%) MMs and 3 (38%) MGUS/SMMs displayed myeloid abnormalities, that is, +8 (1 case) and 20q- (8 cases) as the sole anomalies, without any evidence of MDS/AML. One patient developed AML, whereas no MDS/AML occurred in the remaining 8 patients. In one MGUS with del(20q), fluorescence in situ hybridization analyses revealed its presence in CD34+CD38- (hematopoietic stem cells), CD34+CD38+ (progenitors), CD19+ (B cells), and CD15+ (myeloid cells). The present data indicate that 20q- occurs in 10% of karyotypically abnormal MM/MGUS cases and that it might arise at a multipotent progenitor/stem cell level.

Original publication




Journal article


Genes Chromosomes Cancer

Publication Date





223 - 231


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Cell Separation, Chromosome Aberrations, Chromosomes, Human, Pair 20, Cytogenetics, Female, Flow Cytometry, Gene Deletion, Humans, In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence, Karyotyping, Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute, Male, Multiple Myeloma, Myelodysplastic Syndromes, Paraproteinemias, Ploidies, Stem Cells