The importance of translocations

Ever since I realized the implications of my MGUS and then SMM (well, to be precise, my 2005 bone marrow biopsy result talks about “multiple myeloma,” not “smoldering myeloma”…) diagnoses, I have been interested in studies about the progression of these two conditions to actively malignant myeloma.


A blog reader (thank you!) must have been reading my mind. He recently sent me a heap of studies dealing mainly with the issue of genetic codes in MGUS and myeloma, and that of the progression from MGUS to MM.


Even though it’s way too early to get into it all, one of these studies told me something that I didn’t know: chromosomal abnormalities, or translocations, occur in MGUS, too. So much for (my) believing that only myeloma folks developed wacky genes…At this point, though, I should reassure those with MGUS that a few abnormal chromosomes doesn’t mean that progression to myeloma is inevitable. Oh no, not at all. As I mentioned, though, it’s too early to get into it.


I just wanted to explain my silence, I guess. In the past couple of days I have been poring over piles of statistics, looking at graphs that make little or no sense to me, wading through discussions on translocations, not just those concerning the infamous chromosome 13 (deletion/non deletion), etc…and yes, I admit that it was all terribly overwhelming at first, but then I decided that I simply would try to understand what I possibly can…and set the rest aside, at least for the time being. After all, I cannot become an expert cytogeneticist overnight… As for posting a few words about these studies, well, I will give it a try. Soon, I hope.

In my free time, I have been following the interesting GMO (etc.) discussions on Fanatic Cook’s blog (I have a link here to her blog, just scroll down my Pages almost to the end). Among other items, she has a few interesting posts on genetically modified soy… I must say that I am full of admiration for this researcher, from whom I have learned so much…please visit her blog whenever you have a spare moment or two, you won’t regret it, I think. Here’s the general link:


  1. Thank you for the link, Margaret. I don’t know why all this info has been flying under my radar for so long. I really think someone should shine a light on genetically modified crops – their effects on human health and the environment.

  2. Hi Margaret,
    We all must be on the same wave length! I thought about sending you this little snippet yesterday! I read this a while ago and parts of it were kinda sorta reassuring to me. It was an article about predicting the progression of SMM to MM. It was written by Judith Groch and published in June 2007 in MedPage Today. The paragraph that I chose to focus on was this: “We found that the overall risk of progression among patients with smoldering multiple myeloma was approximately 10% per year in the first five years and 3% per year in the next five years with a decrease to 1% per year thereafter. No such time-dependent change in risk occurs with MGUS.” I kinda like the sound of that…hope you do too! Thanks for all your research. I’m happy you are doing so well! Take care, Donna

  3. Thanks for the excellent link to fanaticcook, Margaret. Obama’s choice for Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsac, is both shocking and disappointing. Vilsac has been both pro-GMO and pro-Monsanto. I think we’ll have to work really hard to make any changes in labeling or use of GMOs. But, let’s begin!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *