Monoclonal proteins are immunoglobulins made by clonal antibody-producing cells. These monoclonal proteins can damage tissues and organs, particularly the kidneys.
In order to better serve patients impacted by this kidney impairment that so often accompanies plasma cell disease, called monoclonal gammopathies of renal significance (MGRS), Tufts Medical Center in Boston has created a new MGRS clinic that is tailored to providing care for these patients.
What is MGRS?
Patients with MGRS do not meet the standard definitions of hematologic malignancies such as multiple myeloma or B-cell lymphomas. Their bone marrow hematologic disorder is consistent with a low-level antibody-producing disorder called monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). But importantly MGRS is associated progression of kidney damage and in many cases unless treated with progression to dialysis.
There are many renal diseases in MGRS including AL amyloidosis and newly described pathologic conditions such as proliferative glomerulonephritis with monoclonal immunoglobulin deposits and C3 glomerulopathy with monoclonal gammopathy.
How is MGRS treated?
Early recognition of MGRS is critical because chemotherapy can suppress the secretion of the monoclonal protein, often improving kidney function and can reverse kidney damage.
A kidney biopsy is often important in order to identify how advanced the disease process associated with MGRS may be. Diagnosis requires expert pathology involvement as well as clinical expertise. A complete hematologic workup for monoclonal gammopathies is also needed and may include the need for bone marrow biopsies and genetic studies of plasma cells from the bone marrow
Why choose the MGRS clinic at Tufts MC?
Led by world-renowned amyloid and myeloma specialist, Raymond Comenzo, MD, the MGRS clinic at Tufts Medical Center is staffed by experts in hematologic and kidney diseases. With Cindy Varga, MD in Hematology and Lesley Inker, MD and David Drew, MD in Nephrology, we’ve brought together a multidisciplinary team whose sole focus is taking into account a variety of medical perspectives to provide you with the best possible care
The clinic is also designed to see patients quickly and provide treatment that may prevent progression to end-stage kidney disease.
To learn more about The MGRS Clinic, please contact us through the John C. Davis Myeloma and Amyloid Program phone line at 617-636-5907.