A study, recently published in PLoS Genetics, has demonstrated significant differences in mutation frequencies between African American (AA) and Caucasian (CA) patients with newly diagnosed myeloma. Researchers at the University of Southern California analysed data from the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation’s CoMMpass study to determine genetic alterations in myeloma in the context of self-reported race.
The results show higher mutation frequencies in TP53 and IRF4 in CA patients compared to AA patients. These genes are associated with worse prognosis, however AA patients have worse survival outcomes. Furthermore, the study identified 3 genes, BCL7A, BRWD3 and AUTS2, that were more frequently mutated in AA patients and that had not previously been linked to myeloma.
This study highlights the importance of ensuring diverse patient cohorts in studies to better understand the genetic heterogeneity of myeloma.