GWAS Links Six New Loci to Multiple Myeloma Risk, Uncovers Potential Mechanisms

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Through a new genome-wide association study and meta-analysis, researchers have linked six new loci to multiple myeloma risk.

In the US, there are an estimated 30,770 new multiple myeloma cases each year, and while some cases appear to be sporadic, others seem to have an inherited cause. Seventeen genetic loci have previously been linked to multiple myeloma risk.

Researchers from the Institute of Cancer Research in London and elsewhere conducted a genome-association study of nearly 900 multiple myeloma cases and more than 7,000 controls, which they combined with published data to uncover six new loci associated with multiple myeloma risk. As they reported today in Nature Communications, the researchers also found that these loci appear to disrupt developmental transcriptional regulators.

“Our study has identified six new areas of the genome that contribute to an increased risk of developing multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer of which the biological basis has been relatively understudied,” senior author Richard Houlston from ICR said in a statement. “Our increased understanding of the genetic background of myeloma has allowed us to start forming a clearer picture of the biology of the disease — which could open up new avenues for

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