Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) is a premalignant plasma cell dyscrasia that consistently precedes multiple myeloma (MM) with a 1% risk of progression per year. Recent advances have improved understanding of the complex genetic and immunologic factors that permit progression from the aberrant plasma cell clone to MGUS and overt MM. Additional evidence supports bidirectional interaction of MGUS cells with surrounding cells in the bone marrow niche that regulates malignant transformation. However, there are no robust prognostic biomarkers. Herein we review the current body of literature on the biology of MGUS and provide a rationale for the improved identification of high-risk MGUS patients who may be appropriate for novel clinical interventions to prevent progression or eradicate premalignant clones prior to the development of overt MM.

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