Niels van de Donk, MD, PhD of VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands discusses monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) at the 2016 European Multiple Myeloma Academy (EMMA) in Madrid, Spain. MGUS is a very common disorder, the incidence increases with age and patients are generally asymptomatic. It is important for clinicians to check whether there has been transformation towards malignancy, such as myeloma or lymphoma. In addition, Dr van de Donk explains that it is necessary to check if the patient has developed systemic manifestations that are attributable to the monoclonal protein (M protein), which is generated by the plasma cell disorder. The M protein can either deposit in tissues and cause tissue damage or function as an autoantibody, binding to cells and causing tissue damage through this mechanism. In this case, it is important to treat the plasma cell disorder to stop the M protein-related tissue damage and allow the patient to recover.
This programme has been supported by Celgene and Amgen through an unrestricted educational grant to the Video Journal of Hematological Oncology.