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New study suggests possible genetic links between environmental toxins and multiple myeloma
Date:8/13/2009

North Hollywood, CA August 13, 2009 - The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF)supporting research and providing education, advocacy and support for myeloma patients, families, researchers and physicianstoday said newly published data may provide a possible genetic link between environmental toxins and bone disease in multiple myeloma. Myeloma, also called multiple myeloma, is a cancer of cells in the bone marrow that affect production of blood cells and can damage bone. Once considered a "rare disease of the elderly," it is increasingly being diagnosed in patients under 45 years old, including some of the early responders to the 9/11 World Trade Center site. Now a study published this week may help explain why.

The study from researchers with the IMF gene bank, Bank on a Cure, identified several changes in DNA sequences called SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) that are associated with a risk of bone disease in myeloma. Further analyses showed that many of these DNA changes may be involved with the way the human body responds to certain environmental toxins, providing a possible link between myeloma and the environment. The findings were published in the latest issue of the journal Leukemia*.

Brian G.M. Durie, M.D., lead author of the study and Chairman of the IMF said: "This is a hypothesis-generating study. While the functional role of many SNPs is still uncertain, this study is supportive of the notion that genetic factors affecting toxin breakdown may be related to the development of myeloma. This gives us an important starting point for further studies."

The findings may help explain a widely reported study this week in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, that found more cases of myeloma among younger responders to the 9/11 World Trade Center site than would normally be expected. The findings are also supportive of a study published earlier this year that suggests a link between certain pes
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Contact: Jennifer Anderson
212-918-4642
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Source:Eurekalert

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