Is Esterase Gene Expression Linked to MM Prognosis?

A study published in the British Journal of Cancer assessed whether esterase gene expression is of clinical significance in the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM).

“Several esterases have previously been reported to be dysregulated in specific cancers, with some also having the potential to be predictive or prognostic biomarkers,” wrote the study authors.

This study enrolled a total of 134 patients with MM, including 56 with newly diagnosed and 78 with relapsed/refractory disease. Participants provided 171 bone marrow aspirates which underwent gene expression profiling. Genomic variations were validated against the Clinical Outcomes in MM to Personal Assessment of Genetic Profile (CoMMpass) dataset.

The investigators reported strong variability between newly diagnosed and relapsed/refractory samples. The expression of the gene profiles UCHL5, SIAE, ESD, PAFAH1B3, PNPLA4, and PON1 were significantly altered upon progression from newly diagnosed to refractory disease.

High expression of the OVCA2, PAFAH1B3, SIAE, and USP4 gene profiles were associated with significantly poorer prognosis compared with outcomes from patients with low expression (P<0.05). Low PCED1B expression was also significantly associated with poor outcomes compared with samples with high expression (P<0.05). Comparison with the CoMMpass dataset validated the finding that higher expression of PAFAH1B3 and SIAE, and lower expression of PCED1B, were associated with poor prognosis.

In conclusion, the authors wrote, “Further work is needed to elucidate the biological significance of esterases in cancer to better understand how they can be effectively utilized to activate anticancer drugs in tumor cells and their potential applicability as biomarkers of MM and its progression.”