Multiple myeloma is a cancer that originates in the bone marrow and develops from malignant plasma cells. The American Cancer Society estimates that there were 21,700 new cases of multiple myeloma diagnosed in 2012.
In people with multiple myeloma, abnormal plasma cells (myeloma cells) multiply in the bone marrow and produce an abnormal protein (a monoclonal, or M, protein) that can cause damage. Patients with multiple myeloma may have fever, bruising, bleeding and tiredness. They may also have painful bone fractures and damage to organs, especially the kidneys. However, sometimes people with multiple myeloma don't have signs or symptoms.
The genetic aberrations present in multiple myeloma cells play a significant role in the risk stratification and therapeutic approach in multiple myeloma patients. Mayo Stratification for Myeloma and Risk-Adapted Therapy (mSMART ) represents a consensus opinion on the utilization and assessment of these genetic markers in multiple myeloma.