What is the current understanding of the risk for developing multiple myeloma among first degree relatives of an affected person? For example, if a parent has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, what is the risk to a child?
Multiple myeloma usually occurs sporadically within a family and very little is known about familial and/or hereditary forms. Several families have been reported with multiple cases of multiple myeloma. The existence of hereditary multiple myeloma is, therefore, suggested, but no single gene known to cause the condition have been identified. Studies have found that a person's risk of multiple myeloma may be higher if a close relative had the disease. For example, first-degree relatives (i.e. parents, children) of people with multiple myeloma are reported to be two-to four-times more likely to develop the condition; it is presumed the risks are higher for relatives in the case of familial ;multiple myeloma (where multiple people have already been diagnosed). Multiple myeloma among married couples and "community clusters" of multiple myeloma have also been described, suggesting the potential importance of environmental factors, as well.
Last updated: 3/11/2016
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Gerkes EH, de Jong MM, Sijmons RH, Vellenga E. Familial multiple myeloma: report on two families and discussion of screening options. Hereditary Cancer in Clinical Practice. June 15, 2007; 5(2):72-78. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19725987. Accessed 4/20/2011.