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MGUS & AutoImmune Disease

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A history of autoimmune disease was associated with a reduced risk of progression from MGUS to MM… yet prior autoimmune disease increases the risk of a diagnosis of multiple myeloma…

Talk about good news, bad news…The bad news is, according to the studies linked below, if you have an autoimmune disease you are more likely to get monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). The good news is, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance preceded by an autoimmune disease, has a lower risk of proceeding to full-blown multiple myeloma.


To be fair, living with MGUS isn’t usually a problem. I mean, the issue with a diagnosis of pre-myeloma is developing MM itself. MM is an incurable blood cancer that leads to death. Always…

The issue, the problem with pre-MM is the risk of proceeding to MM. According to Dr. Robert Kyle of the Mayo Clinic, more than 3% of people over 50 have MGUS. Many never realize their pre-MM state and live normal lives.

So in my opinion, having MGUS is not a problem. MGUS, according to research, increases your risk of MM by 1% annually. Frankly, 1% increased risk of cancer is not that big a deal. Assuming, as I do, that the person can reduce his/her risk of MGUS that much or more.

According to research, there are a number of evidence-based but non-toxic therapies that reduce the risk of MGUS proceeding to MM.

  • Anti-angiogenic nutrition
  • Anti-angiogenic, anti-inflammatory supplementation
  • Lifestyle therapies such as whole-body hypertherapia
  • Frequent, moderate exercise 

I have to wonder if the above therapies also reduce the risk of an autoimmune disease? But that question is for another blog post.

Have you been diagnosed with MGUS or SMM aka pre-MM? To learn more about evidence-based but non-toxic therapies to reduce your risk of full-blown MM, scroll down the page and send me a question or comment. I will reply to you ASAP.

To Learn More about Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS)- click now 

Hang in there,


David Emerson

  • MM Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading-

Autoimmune disease

“An autoimmune disease is a condition arising from an abnormal immune response to a functioning body part.[1] There are at least 80 types of autoimmune diseases.[1] Nearly any body part can be involved.[3] Common symptoms include low grade fever and feeling tired.[1]Often symptoms come and go.[1]

Prior autoimmune disease and risk of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and multiple myeloma: a systematic review

“Background: Several observational studies have investigated autoimmune disease and subsequent risk of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance  and multiple myeloma. Findings have been largely inconsistent and hindered by the rarity and heterogeneity of the autoimmune disorders investigated. A systematic review of the literature was undertaken to evaluate the strength of the evidence linking prior autoimmune disease and risk of MGUS/multiple myeloma.

Methods: A broad search strategy using key terms for pre-MM, multiple myeloma, and 50 autoimmune diseases was used to search four electronic databases (PubMed, Medline, Embase, and Web of Science) from inception through November 2011.

Results: A total of 52 studies met the inclusion criteria, of which 32 were suitably comparable to perform a meta-analysis. “Any autoimmune disorder” was associated with an increased risk of both pre-MM…

This risk was disease dependent with only pernicious anemia showing an increased risk of both MGUS  and multiple myeloma.

Conclusions: Our findings, based on the largest number of autoimmune disorders and patients with MGUS/multiple myeloma reported to date, suggest that autoimmune diseases and/or their treatment may be important in the etiology of pre-MM/multiple myeloma.

The strong associations observed for pernicious anemia suggest that anemia seen in plasma cell dyscrasias may be of autoimmune origin.

Impact: Underlying mechanisms of autoimmune diseases, general immune dysfunction, and/or treatment of autoimmune diseases may be important in the pathogenesis of MGUS/multiple myeloma.”

Autoimmune disease is associated with a lower risk of progression in monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance

This article was originally published here

Eur J Haematol. 2020 Dec 9. doi: 10.1111/ejh.13563. Online ahead of print.

OBJECTIVES AND METHODS: We conducted a population-based study including 19,303 individuals diagnosed with MGUS in Sweden from 1985 to 2013, with the aim to determine whether a prior history of autoimmune disease, a well-described risk factor for MGUS) is a risk factor for progression of pre-MM to multiple myeloma (MM)…

Using the nationwide Swedish Patient registry, we identified MGUS cases with versus without an autoimmune disease present at the time of MGUS diagnosis and estimated their risk of progression.

RESULTS: A total of 5,612 (29.1%) MGUS cases had preceding autoimmune diseases. Using Cox proportional hazards models, we found the risk of progression from pre-MM to MM) to be significantly lower in MGUS cases with prior autoimmune disease (compared to MGUS cases without).

CONCLUSIONS: In this large population-based study, a history of autoimmune disease was associated with a reduced risk of progression from pre-MM to MM..

Potential underlying reason is that MGUS caused by chronic antigen stimulation is biologically less likely to undergo the genetic events that trigger progression. Our results may have implications in clinical counselling for patients with MGUS and underlying autoimmune disease.

PMID:33295006 | DOI:10.1111/ejh.13563

Leave a Comment:

Yacts says a day ago

I have had sero positive autoimmune disease since 2013. I take methotrexate, enbrel and tofacitinib. About 4 or 5 years ago I showed IgG monoclonal kappa light chain. My electrophoresis showed no M spike in 2023. This week in May 2024 I had an abdomin, pelvis and colon CT with contrast. It shows skeletal focal bone lesion in the ilium near the acetabulum. I also have a 6.2 cm cyst in kidney. Is my bone lesion am indicator of developing SMM??

    David Emerson says yesterday

    Hi Yacts-

    While there is a relationship between autoimmune disease and MGUS, your situation appears to be complicated. I encourage you to find an MM specialist to work with and try to figure out your situation.

    Good luck,

    David Emerson

Carole Anne Bennett says last month

Somewhat helpful, I am having tests as I have become Anaemic at the age of 79! I have always been fit and have played Golf for the last 34 years! I am now almost housebound! My Doctor thinks it is MGUS but I have a kidney problem now as well! Waiting results!

Shruthi says last year

Need your advice

    David Emerson says last year

    Hi Shruthi-

    What is your question?

    David Emerson

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