A study, published recently in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, has shown that circulating microRNAs (miRNA) may be useful biomarkers for detecting the onset of myeloma and tracking its progression from earlier asymptomatic stages. miRNAs are small non-coding RNAs involved in the regulation of gene expression and interfere with the synthesis of specific proteins. In this study, the researchers found significantly altered levels of different miRNAs in the peripheral blood of myeloma patients compared to non myeloma patients. Further analysis revealed a unique miRNA signature indicative of myeloma. Subsets of these miRNAs were also altered in MGUS and smouldering myeloma patients. The authors suggest that these miRNAs not only play a role in aberrant plasma cell proliferation and disease progression but could be used to generate screening and diagnostic tools for myeloma.

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