MGUS may be linked “only” to some serious diseases…

I am slowly going through my still unopened Science Daily updates…the August 27 issue (see: contained a title that caught my interest: “Common blood disorder may not be linked to as many serious diseases.” The common blood disorder turns out to be MGUS.

In a nutshell, doctors have long been linking MGUS to more diseases than “just” multiple myeloma, amyloidosis and Waldenström macroglobulinemia. To my surprise, I discovered that there is a list of 75 other MGUS-associated diseases out there. 75! This list will almost certainly undergo some changes now…after the publication of the August 2009 Mayo Clinic Proceedings, which contain an interesting patient screening study declaring that the above-mentioned association is likely coincidental, in most cases, at least.

After reading the Science Daily summary, I went to have a look at the study (full study: Do you know that one of the MGUS-linked diseases is urticaria?! Eeek, just writing that word makes me itch all over!

Well, even though the full study is available online (above link), I thought I would take the time to go over a few points. Let’s see. The researchers confirmed that disorders of the bone, such as hip and vertebral fractures, osteoporosis, and hypercalcemia, are all significantly increased with MGUS, even in the absence of progression to multiple myeloma. We also confirmed known associations of MGUS with chronic inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy […] and autonomic neuropathy.

But they also found no significant association with MGUS in the 61 remaining disease diagnoses, an indication that most of these previously reported associations are either coincidental or clinically insignificant. So, in this patient population, 61 out of 75 diseases cannot be linked to MGUS. Interesting. Incidentally, see Table 2 ( for a complete list of diseases…you might be surprised by some of ’em…I was!

Also, have a look at Table 3 ( for a list of 20 new MGUS-associated diseases, including acute depression (!!!)…

In the Discussion part, we are also told that the frequency of osteoporosis and bone fractures is increased in patients with MGUS, independent of progression to myeloma. Eh.

Further on: The fact that we did not demonstrate a significant disease association with MGUS in such a large sample size is of major importance because it implies that these associations are likely not true associations, but rather coincidental ones. This has important therapeutic implications, because in some settings therapy has been administered to eradicate the monoclonal protein in the hopes that the associated disorder would be alleviated. Our study suggests that caution is needed.

Caution…indeed, I couldn’t agree more!

Encouraging EGCG data emerges from Mayo Clinic leukemia trials

By now I have a rather daunting backlog of Science Daily updates in my e-box…so, whenever I have a snippet of time, I try to go through a few. As I did yesterday, which is when I came upon a very promising article ( on EGCG, extracted, as we know, from green tea.


A recently-published Mayo Clinic trial report tells us that EGCG (capsule form) is well-tolerated by CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia) patients, even at high doses….by the way, according to the Mayo researchers, even those who took as many as 2 grams twice a day did not reach the maximum tolerated dose…


A few exciting trial results: lymphocyte count was reduced in one-third of participants. Furthermore, The majority of individuals who entered the study with enlarged lymph nodes saw a 50 percent or greater decline in their lymph node size.


EGCG is currently being tested on CLL patients in Phase I and II trials. In fact, I just checked the Clinical Trials website and found that the Mayo Clinic study is still recruiting, so if you have CLL, you might be interested in seeing whether you might qualify:


Well, well. Good stuff. I have been thinking about adding EGCG to my intake (again). Since I have been so busy recently, though, I have been taking only my regular daily dose of curcumin, quercetin and fish oil…a mere 24 capsules a day…ah yes, I think it’s about time to add more capsules to my regimen… 

Ah, here is the link to the study abstract, published in the “Journal of Clinical Oncology” on May 26 2009: