A total of 430 Mayo Clinic patients with myeloma and 30 patients with smoldering myeloma were reviewed between 2005 -2015. Blood samples to test for MGUS were obtained from 1179 first-degree relatives (who had to be over age 40).
Most of the patients in the study were white (97%) and men (56%). Most first-degree relatives were women (58.7%) and 62.8% were siblings.
Out of the 1179 first-degree relatives, 75 of them had MGUS. The rates of MGUS were 2.4 times greater than normal rates of incidence.
There was no difference in survival rates between patients with a first-degree relative who had MGUS and those who did not after a 15-year follow up.
The risk to family members was not statistically significant when the myeloma patient's age at diagnosis, sex, type of myeloma or trisomies were taken into account.
Dr. Vincent Rajkumar of the Mayo Clinic stated:
“Although we found that the risk of MGUS is 2-3 fold higher in first degree relatives, the absolute excess risk of multiple myeloma in family members is likely to be quite low. So far, we are unable to find specific features that is associated with a familial risk. At this point since the risk is low, and since there is no treatment for MGUS, we do not recommend routine screening of family members of myeloma patients. However, if two or more close relatives are affected by myeloma, I would consider a work up for monoclonal protein in first-degree relatives.”