Myeloma UK funded research identifies predictor of myeloma prognosis.

Research news // 23rd November 2018

Research funded by Myeloma UK has recently led to a publication in the international journal Blood, highlighting the significance of sub-clonal TP53 deletions as a predictor of prognosis in myeloma. (1)

Although myeloma is considered to be a single disease the presentation and prognosis can differ significantly between individuals. This variation is thought driven by genetic differences in myeloma cells. A number of genetic abnormalities have been linked to myeloma prognosis and clonal deletions of TP53 are recognised as one of the most important markers for myeloma prognosis. (2)

The researchers profiled 1,777 samples from myeloma patients enrolled in the Myeloma IX and Myeloma XI clinical trials to understand the relationship between sub-clonal TP53 deletion and prognosis. The results indicate that sub-clonal deletions are independently associated with shorter overall survival with a hazard ratio of 1.8 (95% CI: 1.2-2.8; p= 0.01).

This work performed by the myeloma research team at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, led by Dr Martin Kaiser, in collaboration with the Clinical Trials Research Unit in Leeds and a network of collaborators from the UK Myeloma Research Alliance, was supported by Myeloma UK and Cancer Research UK. It shows that the assessment of sub-clonal deletions can be measured using standard diagnostics and can help differentiate myeloma patients to better tailor treatments.

Further reading:

Genetics and myeloma Infoguide

Genetics and Myeloma

Translational research programme

ICR research investigates how genetic analyses can drive targeted myeloma treatments


  1. Shah, V., Johnson, D. C., Sherborne, A. L., Ellis, S., Aldridge, F. M., Howard-Reeves, J., Begum, F., Price, A., Kendall, J., Chiecchio, L., Savola, S., Jenner, M. W., Drayson, M. T., Owen, R. G., Gregory, W. M., Morgan, G. J., Davies, F. E., Houlston, R. S., Cook, G., Cairns, D. A., Jackson, G., & Kaiser, M. F. (2018). Sub-clonal TP53 copy number is associated with prognosis in multiple myeloma. Blood, blood-2018-06-857250. Accessed November 06, 2018.
  2. Manier, S., Salem, K. Z., Park, J., Landau, D. A., Getz, G., & Ghobrial, I. M. (2017). Genomic complexity of multiple myeloma and its clinical implications. Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology, 14(2), 100.