Both IGH translocations and chromosome 13q deletions are early events in monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and do not evolve during transition to multiple myeloma

Leukemia. 2004 Nov;18(11):1879-82. doi: 10.1038/sj.leu.2403518.


Molecular and genetic events associated with the transition from monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) to multiple myeloma (MM) are still poorly characterized. We investigated serial bone marrow specimens from 11 patients with MGUS who eventually progressed to MM (MM post-MGUS) by interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization for immunoglobulin heavy-chain gene (IgH) translocations and chromosome 13q deletions (del(13q)). In nine patients, IgH translocations were present both in MGUS and MM post-MGUS plasma cells, including three t(11;14)(q13;q32) and one t(4;14)(p16;q32), which was observed already 92 months prior to MM. Similarly, all five MM patients with del(13q) had this aberration already at the MGUS stage. Two patients without IgH translocation and del(13q) had chromosomal gains suggesting hyperdiploidy, but IgH translocations and/or del(13q) did not emerge at MM post-MGUS. IgH translocations and del(13q) are early genetic events in monoclonal gammopathies, suggesting that additional events are required for the transition from stable MGUS to progressive MM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bone Marrow
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 13*
  • Disease Progression
  • Gene Deletion*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains / genetics*
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Interphase
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / genetics*
  • Paraproteinemias / genetics*
  • Translocation, Genetic*


  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains