Monoclonal gammopathy of increasing significance: time to screen?
Chen LY., Drayson M., Bunce C., Ramasamy K.
Monoclonal gammopathy (MG) is a frequently detected clonal B-cell or plasma cell disorder. Importantly, every multiple myeloma (MM) case is preceded by MG. Although clinical algorithms now allow earlier treatment of patients with biomarkers of malignancy before MM-induced tissue damage (CRAB) occurs, most patients are still diagnosed late. It is important to revisit how MG should be managed in clinical practice and whether screening is required. As the prevalence of MG and other medical co-morbidities both rise with increasing age, the degree of contribution of MG to disease states other than malignant progression is often unclear. This can lead to monitoring lapses and under recognition of the organ dysfunction that can occur with monoclonal gammopathy of clinical significance (MGCS). Therefore, models of progression to MM and/or MGCS require further refinement. Whilst currently MG is detected incidentally, a case for screening has been made with ongoing studies in this area. Screening has the potential benefit of earlier detection and prevention of both MGCS and delayed MM presentations, but important drawbacks include the psychosocial impact on individuals and resource burden on healthcare services. MG terminology should transition alongside our increasing understanding of the condition and genomic characterisation that have already begun to revise the MG nomenclature. The biology of MG has been poorly understood and is often inferred from the biology of MM, which is unhelpful. We review the literature and case for MG screening in this paper. In particular, we highlight areas that require focus to establish screening for MG.