To prevent multiple myeloma, scientists are investigating what causes the disease. Recent evidence has linked myeloma with exposure to toxic chemicals. Several viruses have been identified as potential triggers. We also now know there is a 2- to 4-fold increased risk of myeloma or related diseases among first-degree family members of patients with MGUS, smoldering multiple myeloma, or active multiple myeloma.

Researchers at IMF-funded studies are exploring the genetic mechanisms that might be at play:

  • A large-scale project in Germany is poised to reveal the details about what is causing myeloma within families. 
  • In Iceland, the iStopMM investigative team is working to pinpoint the earliest possible evidence of the precursor to myeloma, with nearly 80,000 people sharing their medical histories, exposures, and DNA sequence information. 
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What can you do to lower your risk of myeloma
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Brian GM Durie, MD.
Brian GM Durie, MD
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We must combat both the development of cancer and global climate change by taking personal responsibility for pollution.


The International Myeloma Foundation medical and editorial content team

Comprised of leading medical researchers, hematologist/oncologists, oncology-certified nurses, medical editors, and medical journalists, our team has extensive knowledge of the multiple myeloma treatment and care landscape. Additionally, Dr. Brian G.M. Durie reviews and approves all medical content on this website.

Last Medical Review: September 11, 2019

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