Is Myeloma Development Associated With Blood Type?

ABO blood groups may play a role in the development and outcomes of multiple myeloma, according to new data published in the Magazine of European Medical Oncology.

A research team from Antalya Training and Research Hospital in Antalya, Turkey, conducted a retrospective, observational study to examine the relationship between blood type and development and clinical outcomes for this disease. A total of 198 participants with multiple myeloma (MM) and known blood types were enrolled. Of this group, 46.5% of patients were blood type A, 24.7% were type O, 19.2% were type B, and 9.6% were type AB. Participants also underwent imaging to detect any presence of lytic or extramedullary lesions.

This study cohort was compared with a control group of more than 23,000 individuals without hematological malignancies. The primary endpoint was any association between blood groups and development of MM, and the secondary endpoint was any relationship between blood groups and outcomes and overall survival.

The investigators found that individuals with blood type O had a significantly lower risk of MM development (odds ratio [OR], 0.575; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.416-0.794; P=0.001) when compared with the control group. There was no significant change in MM risk for the other blood groups.

No relationships were established between blood type and common clinical outcomes for MM, such as anemia, renal failure, hypercalcemia, and lytic lesions. Individuals with type O blood had a higher incidence of extramedullary lesions (34.7%) compared with the other blood types (P=0.000).

When comparing survival between blood groups, the researchers determined that overall survival (OS) was significantly shorter for patients with blood type O than the other types (P= 0.007).

“In conclusion, individuals with blood group O had a lower risk of developing MM in this study. It was determined that having blood group O in MM patients was a predisposing factor for the development of extramedullary lesions and that these patients had high serum lactate dehydrogenase levels. In addition, it was shown that having blood group O was a very important prognostic factor for [patients with] MM and was associated with short OS,” the authors wrote. “Although there was a relationship between ABO blood group system and the development of MM and OS, additional studies are needed to explain the mechanism of this relationship.”