Genetics & Genomics

Multiple Myeloma: Detecting Genetic Changes Through Bone Marrow Biopsy and the Influence on Care

Donna Catamero

multiple myeloma, bone marrow biopsy, cytogenetics, genetics, cancer
CJON 2018, 22(3), 263-265. DOI: 10.1188/18.CJON.263-265

Knowledge of genetic mutations and how these affect patient outcomes is rapidly expanding in the care of individuals diagnosed with multiple myeloma (MM). Genetic analysis of bone marrow biopsies now provides information about diagnosis, response to treatment, and prognosis. Oncology nurses need to understand the science and meaning of bone marrow biopsy reports, including the implications of genetic alterations and minimal residual disease. This will allow them to provide care, support, and education related to MM and its treatment to patients and their families.


  • Cytogenetics should be considered an integral part of treatment management in patients with MM.
  • Minimal residual disease testing should be performed in patients who have a complete response to treatment.
  • Oncology nurses should educate themselves on gene mutations that identify a patient as having high-risk disease.
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