Application of next-generation sequencing for the genomic characterization of patients with smoldering myeloma

Martina Manzoni, Valentina Marchica, Paola Storti, Bachisio Ziccheddu, Gabriella Sammarelli, Giannalisa Todaro, Francesca Pelizzoni, Simone Salerio, Laura Notarfranchi, Alessandra Pompa, Luca Baldini, Niccolò Bolli, Antonino Neri, Nicola Giuliani, Marta Lionetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Genomic analysis could contribute to a better understanding of the biological determinants of the evolution of multiple myeloma (MM) precursor disease and an improved definition of high-risk patients. To assess the feasibility and value of next-generation sequencing approaches in an asymptomatic setting, we performed a targeted gene mutation analysis and a genome-wide assessment of copy number alterations (CNAs) by ultra-low-pass whole genome sequencing (ULP-WGS) in six patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and 25 patients with smoldering MM (SMM). Our comprehensive genomic characterization highlighted heterogeneous but substantial values of the tumor fraction, especially in SMM; a rather high degree of genomic complexity, in terms of both mutations and CNAs, and inter-patient variability; a higher incidence of gene mutations and CNAs in SMM, confirming ongoing evolution; intraclonal heterogeneity; and instances of convergent evolution. ULP-WGS of these patients proved effective in revealing the marked genome-wide level of their CNAs, most of which are not routinely investigated. Finally, the analysis of our small SMM cohort suggested that chr(8p) deletions, the DNA tumor fraction, and the number of alterations may have clinical relevance in the progression to overt MM. Although validation in larger series is mandatory, these findings highlight the promising impact of genomic approaches in the clinical management of SMM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1332
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • Multiple myeloma
  • Next-generation sequencing
  • Premalignant stages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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