Smoldering myelomais a heterogeneous clinical entity where a subset of patients has an indolent course of disease that mimics monoclonal gammopathy of undermined significance, whereas others have a more aggressive course that has been described as "early myeloma." It is defined as either serum M-protein ≥3 g/L or ≥10% monoclonal plasma cells in the bone marrow. There are currently no molecular factors to differentiate risks of progression for these patients. Current recommendations of therapy continue to be patient observation or patient enrollment in clinical trials. However, new definitions of active multiple myeloma recently agreed upon by the International Myeloma Working Group may alter the timing of therapy. On the basis of emerging data of therapy in these patients, it seems reasonable to believe that future recommendations for therapy of patients with smoldering myeloma will become an increasingly important topic. In this article, we review the current knowledge of this disease and risk factors associated with progression. We also examine biological insights and alterations that occur in the tumor clone and the surrounding bone marrow niche. Finally, we review clinical trials that have been performed in these patients and provide recommendations for follow-up of patients with this unique disease entity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology