Health Questions and Answers

When an older person is found to a have a monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), what are the chances of developing a related malignancy in the next 10 years?

A monoclonal gammopathy is a condition in which a monoclonal protein (M spike) is identified on serum protein electrophoresis of IgG < 3.5 g/dl or IgA < 2 gm/dL without associated signs or symptoms of a hematologic abnormality. At 10 years of follow-up, 40% of elderly patients diagnosed with MGUS are stable, 40% have died from other causes, and 10-20% have myeloma, macroglobulinemia, amyloidosis, or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Reference: Forciea MA, Schwab EP, Raziano DB, Lavizzo-Mourey RJ: Geriatric Secrets, 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Hanley & Belfus, 2004.

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