A study in today’s issue of JAMA Oncology reports that New York City firefighters exposed to the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster site face an increased risk for developing myeloma precursor disease (MGUS), which can lead to the blood cancer multiple myeloma. The study was conducted by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Health System, the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
“With our 2011 study in The Lancet, we were the first to show that first responders were more likely to get many different types of cancer,” said senior co-author David J. Prezant, M.D., a professor of medicine at Einstein, a pulmonary disease specialist at Montefiore and chief medical officer of the FDNY. “We carried out this new study to do more than just treat cancer. We wanted to find early, predictive signs of cancer that would allow us to screen people and monitor those found to be at risk. By detecting MGUS, which predicts the development of multiple myeloma, we are able to do that.”