Caucasian Americans (CA) compared with African Americans (AA) have a twofold increased incidence of multiple myeloma (MM) and have an earlier age of diagnosis. However, there is sparse information regarding underlying biological differences across racial/ethnic groups. We characterized genetic alterations using a targeted next-generation sequencing assay called myTYPE, developed at MSKCC, allowing capture of somatic mutations, IgH translocations, gains/losses, and hyperdiploidy. Samples were obtained from the NIH Plasma Cell Dyscrasia Racial Disparity Cohort. In total, 68 patient samples were successfully sequenced and manually curated based on well-established databases. Of the 68 patient samples (47 CA, 21 AA), 84% had at least one type of genomic alteration. Importantly, the IgH translocation, t(11;14), was observed more frequently in the AA group (0 vs. 29%, p = 0.001). Known oncogenic somatic non-synonymous mutations were found in 18 genes and indels in 2 genes. KRAS mutations were the most common mutation found in 16% of patients followed by NRAS and BRAF mutations. TP53 somatic mutations appeared to be more common in CA but lacked significance. This proof-of-principle study indicates the presence of varying underlying tumor biology between racial groups and supports the need of future prospective trials to capture these molecular characteristics.
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