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November 2015

Association of Agent Orange With Plasma Cell Disorder: Further Evidence

Author Affiliations
  • 1VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Oncol. 2015;1(8):1035-1036. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.3015

Our understanding of multiple myeloma (MM) has significantly improved in recent years with the availability of modern laboratory techniques. Molecular investigations have identified a wide heterogeneity in myeloma at the genomic and epigenomic levels1-3 and provided improved understanding of the disease pathogenesis. However, etiological factors are not well characterized. Besides older age, male sex, and African American ancestry, association of other features remain ill defined. Exposure to ionizing radiation is the strongest single factor linked to an increased risk of MM. Although association with exposure to benzene and petroleum products and to agricultural chemicals including Agent Orange (AO) have been considered as potential risk factors, their precise relationship remains unclear.

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