Epidemiology of the M-component immunoglobulin types of multiple myeloma

Lisa J. Herrinton, Paul A. Demers, Thomas D. Koepsell, Noel S. Weiss, Janet R. Daling, John W. Taylor, Joseph L. Lyon, G. Marie Swanson, Raymond S. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The purpose of this population-based case-control study was to learn whether risk factors differ for the individual immunoglobulin types of multiple myeloma. In particular, we sought to determine whether IgA and IgG myeloma were related to a history of exposure to reported IgA- and IgG-stimulating conditions, respectively, or to a history of selected occupational and physicochemical exposures. The M-component immunoglobulin type was determined from immunoelectrophoresis as reported in medical records, and exposure status was obtained through in-person interviews. IgG (56 percent) and IgA (22 percent) M-components predominated. For 17 percent of cases, no peak was found on immunoelectrophoresis; they were presumed to have light-chain myeloma. Persons with these three types of myeloma did not differ with respect to distributions of age or race, but a somewhat higher proportion of light-chain cases were women (58 percent cf 45 percent of all other cases). Detailed analysis of the IgA and IgG subtypes provided little evidence that they differ with respect to prior immune stimulation or employment in several specific jobs. IgA myeloma, but not IgG myeloma, was associated modestly with a history of exposure to chest and dental X-rays. Our study provides little evidence that IgA and IgG myeloma differ with respect to the risk factors examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-92
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Environmental exposure
  • United States
  • infection
  • ionizing radiation
  • multiple myeloma
  • occupational diseases
  • risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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