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Rheumatologic Disease Inc. Risk of MGUS to Multiple Myeloma

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“Patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) have twice the risk of developing multiple myeloma (MM) if they have non-antibody (Ab)-mediated rheumatic diseases (RDs)…”

Rheumatic Disease such as Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Lupus  etc. are autoimmune and inflammatory diseases that cause your immune system to attack your joints, muscles, bones, and organs. According to the article linked below, Rheumatic disease increases the risk of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) becoming multiple myeloma (MM).

MGUS is a diagnosis of pre-cancer. Pre-Multiple Myeloma to be specific. Studies estimate that between 3%-5% of people over the age of 50 walk around with this pre-MM diagnosis usually never knowing that they have MGUS.  It is developing multiple myeloma (MM) that is the problem. In the case of the article below,  the risk of developing the incurable blood cancer multiple myeloma (MM) doubled when MGUS patients have RDs.

If you have one of the Rheumatic Diseases listed below as well as MGUS, before you begin worrying about a diagnosis of MM, please understand three important issues.

First, understand that the risk of MGUS becoming full MM is about 1% annually. As I said above, most MGUS patients never know that they have MGUS.

Secondly, please understand the difference between  relative and absolute risk. The relative risk in the study below is that MGUS patients with RA diseases are twice as likely to progress to MM. Absolutely speaking however, because the risk of MGUS becoming MM is so low, only 1% annually, the absolute risk doubles only to 2% annually.

More importantly, are evidence-based, non-toxic therapies shown to reduce the risk of MGUS becoming MM. These therapies include

  • nutrition
  • supplementation
  • lifestyle therapies

I don’t think any risk of MGUS becoming MM is acceptable. I’m saying that MGUS patients should focus on therapies to reduce their risk of MM.

To learn more about evidence-based, non-conventional therapies to reduce your risk of MM, please scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • MM Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Understanding the Risk of MGUS Progression to MM in Patients with Rheumatologic Diseases

“Patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) have twice the risk of developing multiple myeloma (MM) if they have non-antibody (Ab)-mediated rheumatic diseases (RDs) compared with patients without any RDs, according to new research.

Study results, published in Blood Advances, found the risk of transforming into MM varied depending on the diagnosed RDs.

The risk of progression, however, was far higher for patients with MGUS with non-Ab-mediated RDs…

Researchers from Austria evaluated 2935 patients diagnosed with MGUS between 2000 and 2016. They evaluated 3 groups. Patients with RDs were grouped into antibody (Ab)-mediated RDs and non-Ab-mediated RDs; the third group consisted of those without RDs.

The researchers found that patients with a concomitant RD (n=255 [9%]) had a doubled risk of progression of developing MM…

Ab-mediated RDs included:

  • RA,
  • systemic lupus erythematosus,
  • Sjögren syndrome,
  • mixed connective tissue disease,
  • systemic sclerosis, and
  • antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis.

Out of all patients with MGUS, researchers found that 86 patients (34%) had a connective tissue disease or ANCA-associated vasculitis, 68 (27%) had RA, 47 (18%) had PMR or LV-GCA, 32 (13%) had gout, and 22 (9%) had SpA.

Patients with MM who had previously experienced MGUS had an increased rate of comorbidities compared with those who were first diagnosed with MM. The higher rate underscored the fact MGUS is usually diagnosed during work-up for an unrelated disease since it is asymptomatic, the authors said. Those diagnosed with chronic inflammatory RDs commonly discover they have MGUS during routine bloodwork.

The authors also examined links to autoimmune diseases, noting a recent study from Sweden showed a 1.2- to 1.4-fold increased risk of death in patients with MM and MGUS with a prior history of such disease.

However, when focusing on specific autoimmune diseases, the authors said, the link only held up for those with a history of ulcerative colitis. Other autoimmune diseases had a mortality rate less than or even lower than the control group. They found patients with MGUS with concomitant Ab-mediated RDs had a protective effect, with a 60% reduced 5-year risk of progression. As a result, an equal overall survival rate was found for the 3 different MGUS groups.

The authors said they could only speculate on possible reasons for higher risk in non-Ab-associated RDs. They suggested a link to the fact that higher levels of abnormal protein in Ab-associated diseases essentially are assembled by the excess amount of disease-related antibodies in the blood, whereas in non-Ab-associated RDs, those levels result from a true clonal outgrowth of pathological plasma cells.

Interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β), one of the main drivers in inflammation, plays a critical role in PMR, gouty arthritis, and smoldering multiple myeloma. The success of IL-1β blocking therapies illustrates that connection, and possibly a significant link to the study results, the authors said.

A standard treatment for patients with MGUS-RD has not yet been established, the authors said, while the goal should be suppression of both RD activity and the monoclonal Ig concentration. The authors noted further investigation should be directed toward the impact of proinflammatory processes and immunosuppressive therapies on how MGUS evolves and its risk of progression.

Rheumatology and Rheumatic Diseases

Rheumatic diseases affect your joints tendons, ligaments, bones, and muscles. Among them are many types of arthritis, a term used for conditions that affect your joints.

Sometimes they’re called musculoskeletal diseases. Common symptoms include:

  • Joint pain
  • Loss of motion in a joint or joints
  • Inflammation — swelling, redness, and warmth in a joint or affected area…

Common Rheumatic Disorders

Years ago, conditions like this fell under the broad heading of rheumatism. Now there are more than 200 distinct rheumatic diseases. Among the most common ones are:


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