A new study has revealed molecular features that may contribute to racial and ethnic disparities in outcomes among patients with multiple myeloma (MM). The study was published in Blood Advances.

Researchers investigated demographic, clinical, and molecular features in a cohort of patients with MM to better understand existing racial and ethnic disparities.

The study included 495 MM patients — 398 who were non-Hispanic White, 52 who were non-Hispanic Black, and 45 who were Hispanic. Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black patients were significantly younger at diagnosis than non-Hispanic White patients (53 years, 57 years, and 63 years, respectively; P <.001).

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There were no significant differences in the use of frontline therapy or hematopoietic stem cell transplant by race or ethnicity. However, non-Hispanic Black patients had a longer time to transplant than Hispanic or non-Hispanic White patients (376 days, 270 days, and 248 days, respectively; P =.01).

In univariable analysis, non-Hispanic Black patients had significantly better overall survival (OS) than non-Hispanic White patients (hazard ratio [HR], 0.50; 95% CI, 0.31-0.81; P =.005). Hispanic patients had numerically better OS than non-Hispanic White patients, but the difference was not significant (HR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.37-1.19; P =.2).

There were no significant differences in OS across the racial/ethnic groups in a multivariable analysis.

The researchers found that mutations in IRF4 were more common in Hispanic patients, while mutations in SP140, AUTS2, and SETD2 were more common in non-Hispanic Black patients.

A total of 60 patients (12%) had clonal hematopoiesis (CH). There was no significant difference in the prevalence of CH by race or ethnicity. CH was associated with inferior OS in non-Hispanic Black patients (HR, 4.36; 95% CI, 1.36-14.00; P =.007) but not in non-Hispanic White patients (P =.88) or Hispanic patients (P =.51).

“This study provides insight into differences in molecular features that may drive clinical disparities in MM patients receiving comparable treatment,” the researchers concluded.

Disclosures: Some study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of disclosures.


Peres LC, Colin-Leitzinger CM, Teng M, et al. Racial and ethnic differences in clonal hematopoiesis, tumor markers, and outcomes of patients with multiple myeloma. Blood Advances. Published online June 24, 2022. doi:10.1182/bloodadvances.2021006652