The connection between EBV infection and MM and MGUS

Today’s short post deals with proof of the association of the Epstein-Barr virus with MM and MGUS, which I found in a 2016 University of Sassari (Italy) study.

The full study isn’t available for free online, but, thanks to a lovely friend, I was able to get my hands on it. If you click on the page (at the following link), thereby enlarging it, you will be able to read almost the entire first page of the study where most of the results are posted, actually:

The study points out that until now, apart from a couple of case reports on plasmacytomas possibly caused by EBV in immunodeficient MM patients, there has been only ONE STUDY on the possible association of EBV and MM. That study, which I am going to have a look at soon, found traces of EBV DNA in the bone marrow of MGUS and MM patients. Eh!

But this 2016 Italian study is the FIRST one to really make the connections. Click click click.

I won’t, indeed cannot, go into too many other details, for reasons of copyright, but I can report this bit of information, since you can see it for yourselves on the page at the above link: the patients were either MGUS or in different stages of MM. And they were IgG-kappa, IgG-lambda, IgM-kappa, IgA-lambda.

The study results show, for the first time ever, a connection between MM and MGUS and the Epstein-Barr virus.

And they also show that EBV may contribute to the survival of MM cells. How?

The researchers found that the latent EBV LMP2A gene was overexpressed in both MM and MGUS patients. Among other things, this gene activates the RAS pathway (do a search of my blog for more info on RAS), which is very bad news for us…but very good news for MM cells.

In short, the blasted gene helps MM cells survive…

Okay, I feel a bit like a dog with a bone right now. More chewing needed…more research, more studies…I have a few on my desktop, which I hope will yield some useful information…

Please feel free to leave me a comment, by the way. I’d love to hear, in particular, from those whose MGUS, SMM, or MM was diagnosed after some sort of viral episode…EBV, HCV, etc. Tell me/us your story! 🙂

Thanks so much! Ciao!