A study has shown that MYD88 (L265P) is a recurring somatic mutation in Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM). We developed an allele-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for this mutation, and analyzed bone marrow or peripheral blood samples from 58 patients with WM, 77 with IgM monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (IgM-MGUS), 84 with splenic marginal zone lymphoma (SMZL), and 52 with B-cell chronic lymphoproliferative disorders (B-CLPD). MYD88 (L265P) was detected in 58/58 (100%) patients with WM, 36/77 (47%) with IgM-MGUS, 5/84 (6%) with SMZL, and 3/52 (4%) with B-CLPD. Compared to IgM-MGUS patients with wild-type MYD88, those carrying MYD88 (L265P) showed significantly higher levels of IgM (P < .0001) and presented Bence-Jones proteinuria more frequently at diagnosis (P = .002). During follow-up, 9 patients with IgM-MGUS progressed to WM or to marginal zone lymphoma. Using a case-control approach, the risk of evolution of patients carrying MYD88 (L265P) was significantly higher than that of patients with wild-type MYD88 (odds ratio 4.7, 95% confidence interval 0.8 to 48.7, P = .047). These findings indicate that the allele-specific PCR we developed is a useful diagnostic tool for patients with WM or IgM-MGUS. In this latter condition, MYD88 (L265P) is associated with greater disease burden and higher risk of disease progression, and the mutation may therefore also represent a useful prognostic marker.
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