Pathobiology and Diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma

Objective: To understand the role of the genetic changes and bone marrow microenvironment on the development, progression, and staging of multiple myeloma (MM).

Data sources: Peer-reviewed articles and clinical guidelines.

Conclusion: The acquisition of genetic changes and the bone marrow microenvironment in which myeloma cells develop both influence the pathogenic potential of these malignant cells and is reflected in staging of the disease, risk of progression, and predicted response to treatment.

Implications for nursing practice: Treatment of multiple myeloma is largely dependent on risk factors in which specific genetic alterations play a large role. Clinicians should be aware of these genetic changes and how they may influence the individual treatment plan for each patient.