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Multiple Myeloma Progression Influenced by Immune Microenvironment Expression

For a paper appearing in NPJ Genomic Medicine, researchers from the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, the Emory University, and elsewhere suggest that gene expression in immune microenvironment cells may help to distinguish between multiple myeloma cases with or without rapid progression. As part of a multi-center pilot study, the team analyzed single-cell RNA sequence data for more than 102,200 CD138-negative cells isolated from four dozen bone marrow samples collected from 18 multiple myeloma patients, including nine cases with progression-free survival shorter than 18 months and nine non-progressing cases with progression-free survival that exceeded four years. The fast-progressing multiple myelomas were marked by microenvironments with enhanced levels of certain exhausted T cells and macrophages, coupled with an uptick in pro-proliferative signaling activity and lower-than-usual cytolytic marker levels, the authors report. In contrast, immature B cell levels and B cell development-related expression appeared to be enhanced in the multiple myeloma patients classified as non-progressors. "Integrating single-cell profiling data from multi-center national and international trials will enable the identification of novel potent biomarker(s) for disease diagnoses and therapeutic interventions critical for a better prognosis of [multiple myeloma] patients," they write.

The Scan

International Team Proposes Checklist for Returning Genomic Research Results

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics present a checklist to guide the return of genomic research results to study participants.

Study Presents New Insights Into How Cancer Cells Overcome Telomere Shortening

Researchers report in Nucleic Acids Research that ATRX-deficient cancer cells have increased activity of the alternative lengthening of telomeres pathway.

Researchers Link Telomere Length With Alzheimer's Disease

Within UK Biobank participants, longer leukocyte telomere length is associated with a reduced risk of dementia, according to a new study in PLOS One.

Nucleotide Base Detected on Near-Earth Asteroid

Among other intriguing compounds, researchers find the nucleotide uracil, a component of RNA sequences, in samples collected from the near-Earth asteroid Ryugu, as they report in Nature Communications.