There is some evidence that a prior cancer is a risk factor for the development of multiple myeloma (MM). If this is true, prior cancer should be associated with higher prevalence or increased progression rate of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), the precursor of MM and related disorders. Those with a history of cancer might therefore present a target population for MGUS screening. This two-part study is the first study to evaluate the relationship of MGUS and prior cancers. First, we evaluated whether prior cancers were associated with having MGUS at the time of screening in the Iceland Screens Treats or Prevents Multiple Myeloma (iStopMM) study that includes 75,422 individuals screened for MGUS. Next, we evaluated the association of prior cancer and the progression of MGUS to MM and related disorders in a population-based cohort of 13,790 Swedish individuals with MGUS. A history of prior cancer was associated with a modest increase in the risk of MGUS (odds ratio (OR)= 1.10; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.00-1.20). This excess risk was limited to prior cancers in the year preceding MGUS screening. A history of prior cancer associated with the progression of MGUS, except for myeloid malignancies which were associated with lower risk of progression (hazard ratio (HR)=0.37; 95%CI: 0.16-0.89; p=0.028). Our findings indicate that a prior cancer are not a significant aetiological factor in plasma cell disorders. The findings do not warrant MGUS screening or different management of MGUS in those with a prior cancer.
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