Multiple myeloma represents a malignant proliferation of plasma cells derived from a single clone. It is well known that alkylating agents are capable of inducing myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute myelocytic leukemias (AML). This risk of both diseases in patients with multiple myeloma has been estimated to be 10-20% after 10 years. We aimed to evaluate the time course and the type of genetic abnormalities in melphalan-treated patients in the chronic stage of the disease. We applied fluorescence in situ hybridization methods with probes to 5q31 and 7q31 to mononuclear peripheral blood leukocytes of 18 melphalan-treated patients and compared the results to those of 8 untreated myeloma patients. We found three patients (17%) with a 5q31 deletion in their peripheral white blood cells, but no 7q31 deletion. These findings suggest that 5q- occurs before the overt development of MDS/AML and raise important concerns regarding long-term treatment of myeloma patients with alkylating agents. Also, the performance of cytogenetic evaluation should be considered before autologous transplantation. The clinical and biological implications of these findings should be evaluated in larger clinical and laboratory studies.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Cancer Genetics and Cytogenetics|
|State||Published - 1 Jul 2004|