A study, funded by Myeloma UK, has discovered a mechanism that may explain how a genetic variant increases the risk of developing myeloma. Published in the latest issue of Nature Communications, researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research, London investigated the functional effects of the most highly associated variant they had identified from a previously conducted genome wide association study (GWAS). They found that the variant rs4487645 on chromosome 7 resided in an enhancer element upstream of the transcription start site of the c-myc interacting protein CDCA7L. Suppressing CDCA7L limited myeloma cell growth and proliferation while increased CDCA7L expression in patients was associated with adverse prognosis. The authors suggest that CDCA7L expression may be a key factor in the development and progression of myeloma and that such understanding presents opportunities for new therapeutic targets for the disease.