Researchers Link Lipids to One Third of Myelomas
Yale Cancer Center researchers have identified a link between lipids and the origin of a third of all myelomas, a type of cancer affecting plasma cells. The findings, published 10 February 2016 in the New England Journal of Medicine, could fundamentally change the way this cancer and others are treated.
Multiple myeloma is a cancer involving the growth of plasma cells, which are immune cells that make antibodies to fight infection. Uncontrolled growth of these cells leads to anemia, bone pain, kidney problems, Gaucher disease, and myeloma. Despite recent advances, including several new FDA-approved therapies for myeloma, the disease remains incurable, and nearly all patients eventually die from it. The causes of this cancer have remained a mystery until now.
Senior author Dr. Madhav Dhodapkar, the Arthur H. and Isabel Bunker Professor of Medicine and Immunobiology, and chief of Hematology, said the study, using tissue and blood samples from humans and mice, shows that chronic stimulation of the immune system by lipids made in the context of inflammation underlies the origins of at least a third of all myeloma cases.
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