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A tower of babel of acronyms? The shadowlands of MGUS/MBL/CHIP/TCUS.

Seminars in Hematology 2024 January 20
With the advent of outperforming and massive laboratory tools, such as multiparameter flow cytometry and next-generation sequencing, hematopoietic cell clones with putative abnormalities for a variety of blood malignancies have been appreciated in otherwise healthy individuals. These conditions do not fulfill the criteria of their presumed cancer counterparts, and thus have been recognized as their precursor states. This is the case of monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance (MGUS), the first blood premalignancy state described, preceding multiple myeloma (MM) or Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM). However, in the last 2 decades, an increasing list of clonopathies has been recognized, including monoclonal B cell lymphocytosis (MBL), which antecedes chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP) for myeloid neoplasms (MN), and T-cell clones of uncertain significance (TCUS) for T-cell large chronic lymphocytic leukemia (LGLL). While for some of these entities diagnostic boundaries are precisely set, for others these are yet to be fully defined. Moreover, despite mostly considered of "uncertain significance," they have not only appeared to predispose to malignancy, but also to be capable of provoking set of immunological and cardiovascular complications that may require specialized management. The clinical implications of the aberrant clones, together with the extensive knowledge generated on the pathogenetic events driving their evolution, raises the question whether earlier interventions may alter the natural history of the disease. Herein, we review this Tower of Babel of acronyms pinpointing diagnostic definitions, differential diagnosis, and the role of genomic profiling of these precursor states, as well as potential interventional strategies.

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