Basic Biology of Plasma Cell Dyscrasias: Focus on the Role of the Tumor Microenviroment

  • Marc S. Raab
  • Kenneth C. Anderson
Part of the Contemporary Hematology book series (CH)


B-cell development involves several mechanisms of remodeling Ig genes: VDJ recombination, somatic hypermutation, and Ig heavy chain (IgH) switch recombination. Once matured, B-cells reside in secondary lymphoid tissues. Antigen interaction induces proliferation and differentiation to lymphoblasts, leading to the generation of short-lived pregerminal center plasma cells. An antigen-activated lymphoblast entering a germinal center undergoes a unique modification of Ig genes through sequential rounds of somatic hypermutation and antigen selection, as well as by IgH switch recombination. Postgerminal center B-cells may become plasmablasts that have successfully completed somatic hypermutation and IgH switching before migrating to the bone marrow (BM), where stromal cells enable terminal differentiation into nonproliferating long-lived plasma cells.1,2

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant disease of terminally differentiated B-cells that may be preceded by a premalignant...


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc S. Raab
    • 1
  • Kenneth C. Anderson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer InstituteHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer InstituteHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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