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Multiple Myeloma Risk May Be Up for WTC-Exposed Firefighters

And, cancer burden projected to be greater than expected for world trade center-exposed firefighters

THURSDAY, April 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) — World Trade Center-exposed firefighters have increased prevalence of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and light-chain MGUS, which are precursors to multiple myeloma, as well as an increased cancer burden, according to two studies published online April 26 in JAMA Oncology.

Ola Landgren, M.D., Ph.D., from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues characterized 16 WTC-exposed firefighters with a diagnosis of multiple myeloma and screened 781 WTC-exposed white male Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) firefighters aged older than 50 years for MGUS. The researchers found that 50 percent of the multiple myeloma patients had light-chain multiple myeloma. The age-standardized prevalence of MGUS and light-chain MGUS combined was 7.63 per 100 persons among the 781 WTC-exposed firefighters, which was 1.8-fold higher than rates from a reference population.

Ankura Singh, M.P.H., from the Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues projected the future burden of cancer in WTC-exposed FDNY rescue and recovery workers in a cohort of 12,374 white males. The researchers found that the projected number of incident cancer cases was 2,960. The projected number of new cases in white men was elevated (2,714 versus 2,596) in subgroup analyses using FDNY-WTC Health Program versus New York City cancer rates. More prostate, thyroid, and melanoma cases were expected, but fewer lung, colorectal, and kidney cancers.

“This underscores the importance of cancer prevention efforts and routine screening in WTC-exposed rescue and recovery workers,” Singh and colleagues write.

Abstract/Full Text – Landgren

Abstract/Full Text – Singh


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