The genetic architecture of multiple myeloma

Nat Rev Cancer. 2012 Apr 12;12(5):335-48. doi: 10.1038/nrc3257.


Based on the clinical features of myeloma and related malignancies of plasma cells, it has been possible to generate a model system of myeloma progression from a normal plasma cell through smouldering myeloma to myeloma and then plasma cell leukaemia. Using this model system we can study at which points the genetic alterations identified through whole-tumour molecular analyses function in the initiation and progression of myeloma. Further genetic complexity, such as intraclonal heterogeneity, and insights into the molecular evolution and intraclonal dynamics in this model system are crucial to our understandings of tumour progression, treatment resistance and the use of currently available and future treatments.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Clonal Evolution
  • Disease Progression
  • Genetic Heterogeneity*
  • Humans
  • Multiple Myeloma / genetics*
  • Multiple Myeloma / pathology
  • Multiple Myeloma / therapy
  • Plasma Cells / cytology


  • Biomarkers, Tumor