Search
What are you looking for?
Start main content

Press Releases

Press Releases

https://www.med.cuhk.edu.hk/press-releases/cuhk-s-study-sees-a-rising-trend-of-multiple-myeloma-incidence-particularly-in-older-males-from-high-income-countries
https://www.med.cuhk.edu.hk/press-releases/cuhk-s-study-sees-a-rising-trend-of-multiple-myeloma-incidence-particularly-in-older-males-from-high-income-countries

CUHK’s study sees a rising trend of multiple myeloma incidence, particularly in older males from high-income countries

Multiple myeloma, lymphoma and leukaemia are the three major types of haematological malignancies. In Hong Kong, multiple myeloma is the third most common among them. According to Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority, there were 320 new cases of multiple myeloma in 2019, an increase of about 40% compared with a decade ago. The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)’s Faculty of Medicine (CU Medicine) has conducted a study with the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) to investigate the global distribution, risk factors and epidemiological trends of multiple myeloma. The results showed that the incidence of multiple myeloma was higher in high-income jurisdictions, and was closely related to the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita levels, the human development index (HDI) as well as the prevalence of physical inactivity, overweight and obesity rates, and diabetes.

 

The global incidence of multiple myeloma has also shown an obvious rising trend in recent years, particularly in older males from high-income countries. The researchers recommend that risk factor control and early cancer detection should be implemented for high-risk populations. Details of the study have been published recently in the top international medical journal The Lancet Haematology.

 

From right: Professor Martin WONG and Dr. HUANG Jun Jie from The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care at CU Medicine.

CU Medicine has conducted a study with the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) to investigate the global distribution, risk factors and epidemiological trends of multiple myeloma. The results showed that the incidence of multiple myeloma was higher in high-income jurisdictions, and was closely related to the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita levels, the human development index (HDI) as well as the prevalence of physical inactivity, overweight and obesity rates, and diabetes.  It is noted that multiple myeloma is more common in older male populations, and Hong Kong’s Incidence was more than twice of that in mainland China.

From right: Professor Martin WONG and Dr. HUANG Jun Jie from The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care at CU Medicine.

Multiple myeloma is more common in older male populations, with a higher incidence in high-income countries.  Hong Kong’s Incidence was more than twice of that in mainland China

 

Multiple myeloma is more common in the elderly and the male population. According to the Hospital Authority, over 60% of new multiple myeloma cases in 2019 were 65 years old or older, and 55% of them were males. Multiple myeloma is a clonal plasma cell neoplasm characterised by uncontrolled proliferation of mutated plasma cells within the bone marrow, leading to specific end-organ damage, especially in the cortical bone. It is called multiple myeloma because the cancer often affects several areas of the bone and marrow. Common symptoms include a persistent bone pain in the back or ribs, caused by bone resorbing damage; shortness of breath and tiredness caused by anaemia and kidney failure; and fevers due to immune deficiency.

 

To understand the most updated geographical distribution and identify high-risk population groups, the research team retrieved data from international databases such as the Global Cancer Observatory, WHO mortality database and WHO Global Health Observatory data repository, for the age-adjusted incidence, mortality and prevalence of different risk factors.

 

The researchers found that the disease burden of multiple myeloma varied across regions, with Australia and New Zealand having the highest incidence (4.9 per 100,000 population), followed by North America (4.8) and Northern Europe (3.8). The incidence in Hong Kong (2.0) was more than twice of that in mainland China (0.91), although the incidence was relatively low in East Asia (1.1). In addition, the disease burden of multiple myeloma was proportional to GDP, HDI and the prevalence of physical activity, excess weight, obesity and diabetes. This implies that a country or region with a higher level of those risk factors will have higher morbidity and mortality from multiple myeloma.

 

Global multiple myeloma incidence is on the rise, while the death rate is on the decline


Multiple myeloma has been rising globally over the past decade, particularly in developed economies. Using the “Average Annual Percentage Change (AAPC1)” for comparison, the largest increase in incidence rate among males was found in Turkey (5.6), followed by Germany (4.6) and Denmark (3.8). Among females, the largest increase was found in Denmark (3.8), followed by the United Kingdom (1.9). A relatively larger increase was found in males aged 50 years and older, which was most pronounced in Germany (6.7), followed by Denmark (3.9) and South Korea (3.3).

 

In contrast, the trend in mortality from multiple myeloma has been decreasing, especially in the female population.

 

Global distribution of multiple myeloma incidence in 2020

Dr Huang Jun-jie, first author of the study and Post-Doctoral Fellow from The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care at CU Medicine, said, “The incidence and mortality of multiple myeloma vary by region, which may be related to detection and diagnosis ability, environmental and lifestyle factors, and the prevalence of metabolic diseases in each place. Our study provides the most up-to-date evidence on the global distribution, risk factors and trends of multiple myeloma. Future studies should explore the reasons behind these epidemiological transitions, so that they can provide insights on the cause and prognosis.”

 

Professor Martin Wong Chi-sang, the senior corresponding author of the study, from The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care at CU Medicine, added, “The overall incidence of multiple myeloma has been on the rise in recent years, but it is encouraging that the mortality rate has declined because of advances in and increased accessibility of treatment. This study also shows that the prevalence of physical inactivity, excess weight, obesity and diabetes are important drivers of the increase. Policy makers in different regions should implement evidence-based, targeted prevention strategies to control relevant risk factors.”

 

This study is a collaboration with Professor Mellissa Withers, the Director of the APRU Global Health Programme, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. The APRU was established in Los Angeles in 1997 by the presidents of UCLA, Berkeley, Caltech and the University of Southern California. It now has a membership of 60 leading research universities from around the Pacific Rim. CUHK is an important member of APRU and Professor Martin Wong is currently the Co-Chairman of the Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Global Health Research Group for the network.

 

Study details can be found at: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(22)00165-X

 

1 AAPC is a measure of the overall changes in cancer incidence or mortality for a specific period. For example, if the incidence AAPC of a certain cancer in a country is five for the past 10 years, it means that the incidence in that country increased 5% on average each year over the 10-year period.

More Press Releases

Bowel Cancer Will Become Top Cancer in Hong Kong CUHK Introduces Colon Pill Camera to Prevent Bowel Cancer

Bowel Cancer Will Become Top Cancer in Hong Kong CUHK Introduces Colon Pill Camera to Prevent Bowel Cancer

Surgical advancement
Predicting Your Colorectal-polyp Risk with CUHK Colorectal-polyp Prediction Index (CU-CPI)

Predicting Your Colorectal-polyp Risk with CUHK Colorectal-polyp Prediction Index (CU-CPI)

Clinical service
CUHK finds the largest rise in incidence of Hodgkin lymphoma in Asia Rising trend of male incidence means Hong Kong tops the world

CUHK finds the largest rise in incidence of Hodgkin lymphoma in Asia Rising trend of male incidence means Hong Kong tops the world

Research
CU Medicine finds Eastern Asia’s lung cancer incidence and mortality highest in the world

CU Medicine finds Eastern Asia’s lung cancer incidence and mortality highest in the world

Research
CUHK dissects lung carcinoma at single-cell resolution uncovering a new mechanism for tumour formation

CUHK dissects lung carcinoma at single-cell resolution uncovering a new mechanism for tumour formation

Research
CU Medicine Survey Shows Only 25% of Unvaccinated People Intend to Get Inoculated in the Coming Six Months “Multiple Incentives” are Urgently Needed

CU Medicine Survey Shows Only 25% of Unvaccinated People Intend to Get Inoculated in the Coming Six Months “Multiple Incentives” are Urgently Needed

Research
CUHK Study Finds Half of Childhood Cancer Survivors Used Complementary and Alternative Medicine

CUHK Study Finds Half of Childhood Cancer Survivors Used Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Research
CU Medicine Estimates 20,000 COVID-19 Hidden Infections in Hong Kong  All Vaccinated Persons in HK Developed Neutralising Antibody After Two Doses  Urgent Call for the Largely Unprotected Population to Get Vaccinated

CU Medicine Estimates 20,000 COVID-19 Hidden Infections in Hong Kong All Vaccinated Persons in HK Developed Neutralising Antibody After Two Doses Urgent Call for the Largely Unprotected Population to Get Vaccinated

Research
CU Medicine Survey Shows Government Recommendation as the Strongest Driver for COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance

CU Medicine Survey Shows Government Recommendation as the Strongest Driver for COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance

Research
CU Medicine Study Proves Pocket-size Mobile Echocardiographic Screening Device Effective in Detecting Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

CU Medicine Study Proves Pocket-size Mobile Echocardiographic Screening Device Effective in Detecting Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Research
CU Medicine Studies Highlight Smoking as a Contributing Factor for Bladder Cancer and  Develop an International Collaborative Consensus on En Bloc Resection to Treat the Disease

CU Medicine Studies Highlight Smoking as a Contributing Factor for Bladder Cancer and Develop an International Collaborative Consensus on En Bloc Resection to Treat the Disease

Research
CU Medicine Finds An Increasing Global Trend on Pancreatic Cancer among Female and Younger Individuals

CU Medicine Finds An Increasing Global Trend on Pancreatic Cancer among Female and Younger Individuals

Research
Insights into B-cells and GPR18 Gene Expression by CU Medicine team  Improve Prediction of Survival in Multiple Cancer Types

Insights into B-cells and GPR18 Gene Expression by CU Medicine team Improve Prediction of Survival in Multiple Cancer Types

Research
CU Medicine Team Discovers a Novel Prognostic Biomarker for a Doubled Survival in Head and Neck Cancer

CU Medicine Team Discovers a Novel Prognostic Biomarker for a Doubled Survival in Head and Neck Cancer

Research
CUHK in collaboration with West China School of Medicine co-Led World’s First-in-human Clinical Trial using CRISPR technology for lung cancer Confirmed gene-edited T-Cell Therapy is Safe and Feasible in Treatment of Advanced NSCLC

CUHK in collaboration with West China School of Medicine co-Led World’s First-in-human Clinical Trial using CRISPR technology for lung cancer Confirmed gene-edited T-Cell Therapy is Safe and Feasible in Treatment of Advanced NSCLC

Research
CU Medicine Recruits 3,000 Persons to Investigate Hidden Infection and Break the Obstacles in Containing COVID-19 in Hong Kong

CU Medicine Recruits 3,000 Persons to Investigate Hidden Infection and Break the Obstacles in Containing COVID-19 in Hong Kong

Research
CUHK to Commence the Next-Generation Clinical Trials of CAR-T Cell Therapy for Haematological Malignancy

CUHK to Commence the Next-Generation Clinical Trials of CAR-T Cell Therapy for Haematological Malignancy

Research
CUHK Successfully Conducts Asia-Pacific’s First Hybrid Operating Room Non-invasive Bronchoscopic Microwave Ablation to Treat Lung Cancer

CUHK Successfully Conducts Asia-Pacific’s First Hybrid Operating Room Non-invasive Bronchoscopic Microwave Ablation to Treat Lung Cancer

Surgical advancement
Hong Kong’s waters benefit health and wellbeing

Hong Kong’s waters benefit health and wellbeing

Research
李嘉誠基金會啟動《愛能助》兒童癌症項目 資助兒童罕見癌症 (Chinese version only)

李嘉誠基金會啟動《愛能助》兒童癌症項目 資助兒童罕見癌症 (Chinese version only)

Donation
Professor Tony MOK Honoured with the ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award Recognising His Global Leadership in Defining Lung Cancer Treatment Standard

Professor Tony MOK Honoured with the ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award Recognising His Global Leadership in Defining Lung Cancer Treatment Standard

Awards and honors
CUHK Receives an International Cancer Care Team Award Nominated by Patients

CUHK Receives an International Cancer Care Team Award Nominated by Patients

Awards and honors
CUHK Launches Multi-Cancer Prevention Programme Providing Free Screening to 10,000 HK Residents to Study Links with Obesity

CUHK Launches Multi-Cancer Prevention Programme Providing Free Screening to 10,000 HK Residents to Study Links with Obesity

Health Campaign
CUHK-led Global Study Sees Improvement in Overall Survival in Patients with Advanced Lung Cancer

CUHK-led Global Study Sees Improvement in Overall Survival in Patients with Advanced Lung Cancer

Research
CUHK Study Sees Increasing Global Incidence of Colorectal Cancer Among Younger People

CUHK Study Sees Increasing Global Incidence of Colorectal Cancer Among Younger People

Research
CUHK Pioneers Early Lung Cancer Treatment with Hybrid Operating Room Image Guided Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy

CUHK Pioneers Early Lung Cancer Treatment with Hybrid Operating Room Image Guided Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy

Surgical advancement
A CUHK-led International Study Demonstrates Immune-checkpoint Inhibitor Is Effective in Patients with Advanced Nasopharyngeal Cancer

A CUHK-led International Study Demonstrates Immune-checkpoint Inhibitor Is Effective in Patients with Advanced Nasopharyngeal Cancer

Research
CUHK Study Proves Ablative Chemoembolization Doubles the Progression-Free Survival for Liver Cancer Patients

CUHK Study Proves Ablative Chemoembolization Doubles the Progression-Free Survival for Liver Cancer Patients

Research
CUHK Research Receives Recognitions by Top Medical Journals

CUHK Research Receives Recognitions by Top Medical Journals

Awards and honors
CUHK-HKU Study on Multi-gene Mutation-Drug Matching for Recurrent Ovarian Cancer Patients Providing Free Pharmacogenomic Analysis for 100 Patients in Hong Kong

CUHK-HKU Study on Multi-gene Mutation-Drug Matching for Recurrent Ovarian Cancer Patients Providing Free Pharmacogenomic Analysis for 100 Patients in Hong Kong

Research
CUHK Completes a 20,000-person Plasma DNA Screening Study of Nasopharyngeal Cancer, and Finds a Dramatic Shift to Early Stage Cancers

CUHK Completes a 20,000-person Plasma DNA Screening Study of Nasopharyngeal Cancer, and Finds a Dramatic Shift to Early Stage Cancers

Research
CUHK-led Research Confirms Novel Targeted Therapy Doubles the Effectiveness of Current Standard Treatment for ALK-Positive Lung Cancer

CUHK-led Research Confirms Novel Targeted Therapy Doubles the Effectiveness of Current Standard Treatment for ALK-Positive Lung Cancer

Research
CUHK Uncovers Novel Immune Escape Mechanism of Cancer Opening Up New Direction for Cancer Immunotherapy

CUHK Uncovers Novel Immune Escape Mechanism of Cancer Opening Up New Direction for Cancer Immunotherapy

Research
CUHK Unravels the Whole Genome of Nasopharyngeal Cancer A Great Leap Forward in Personalized Medicine Development

CUHK Unravels the Whole Genome of Nasopharyngeal Cancer A Great Leap Forward in Personalized Medicine Development

Research
CUHK Research Shows 1 in 5 Throat Cancer Patients in HK is HPV infected

CUHK Research Shows 1 in 5 Throat Cancer Patients in HK is HPV infected

Research
CUHK Research by Medical Undergraduates Reveals Poor Medication Adherence Among Hypertensive Patients in Hong Kong

CUHK Research by Medical Undergraduates Reveals Poor Medication Adherence Among Hypertensive Patients in Hong Kong

Research
The 7th Palliative Care Symposium for Health Care Workers in Chinese Population: ‘Palliative Care in the Community’

The 7th Palliative Care Symposium for Health Care Workers in Chinese Population: ‘Palliative Care in the Community’

Symposium
CUHK Welcomes Government’s Proposal on Bowel Cancer Screening Territory-wide Bowel Cancer Screening Programme Shows 14% of Participants Diagnosed with Bowel Cancer or Pre-cancer

CUHK Welcomes Government’s Proposal on Bowel Cancer Screening Territory-wide Bowel Cancer Screening Programme Shows 14% of Participants Diagnosed with Bowel Cancer or Pre-cancer

Research
CUHK Succeeded in Animal Study and Clinical Case of Percutaneous Nanoknife New Breakthrough in Cancer Treatment

CUHK Succeeded in Animal Study and Clinical Case of Percutaneous Nanoknife New Breakthrough in Cancer Treatment

Research
CUHK Discovers Innovative ‘Flow Diverters’ (Pipeline) as Effective Treatment for Cerebral Aneurysms in Asia’s First Clinical Study in Collaboration with Seven Medical Centres

CUHK Discovers Innovative ‘Flow Diverters’ (Pipeline) as Effective Treatment for Cerebral Aneurysms in Asia’s First Clinical Study in Collaboration with Seven Medical Centres

Research
CUHK and HKU Host the 5th Annual Palliative Care Symposium for Health Care Workers in Chinese Population

CUHK and HKU Host the 5th Annual Palliative Care Symposium for Health Care Workers in Chinese Population

Symposium
CUHK Pioneers Innovative Computer Assisted Tumor Surgery for Bone Cancer Patients

CUHK Pioneers Innovative Computer Assisted Tumor Surgery for Bone Cancer Patients

Surgical advancement
CUHK Discovers Up to 30% of Asymptomatic Subjects in Hong Kong Suffered from Pre-cancerous Bowel Tumors

CUHK Discovers Up to 30% of Asymptomatic Subjects in Hong Kong Suffered from Pre-cancerous Bowel Tumors

Research
The Chinese University of Hong Kong Nethersole School of Nursing hosts the Fifth Pan-Pacific Nursing Conference and Seventh Nursing Symposium on Cancer Care

The Chinese University of Hong Kong Nethersole School of Nursing hosts the Fifth Pan-Pacific Nursing Conference and Seventh Nursing Symposium on Cancer Care

Symposium

Our Expert List

Many experts under the Faculty of Medicine are available for media interview.
Please click here for the expert list or contact us.