Smoking Is Not a Primary Risk Factor for Multiple Myeloma

Apr 01, 2018 12:00 AM

Author: Nicola Camp

The connection between cigarette smoking and various cancers long has been established, but whether the habit is a risk for multiple myeloma has been an open question. A new study by the International Multiple Myeloma Consortium (IMMC) has found that smoking appears not to be a primary risk factor for the cancer.

Health systems and academic medical centers from across the United States, Canada and Europe, including the University of Utah, studied 2,670 individuals with myeloma and 11,913 controls without myeloma. Smoking histories (current, former, those who tried cigarettes but didn’t take up the habit, and those who had never smoked) were compared between the myeloma cases and the controls. Their analysis found that the multiple myeloma cases were not enriched for smokers when compared to controls.

Nicola Camp, Ph.D., U of U genetic epidemiologist, professor of medicine and co-author on the study, contributed data from myeloma cases and controls in Utah that were ascertained through the Utah Cancer Registry, Huntsman Cancer Institute Clinics and the Utah Population Database.

The only consistently and currently recognized increased risk factors for multiple myeloma are aging and being male or African American, according to Camp. More research is needed to understand risk to this cancer. In particular there is good evidence for genetic risk factors and her work focuses on the identification of these.

Gabriella Andreotti of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the corresponding author on the study, and Mark Purdue, also of the NCI and NIH is the senior author.

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