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Blood. 2008 Nov 15;112(10):4017-23. doi: 10.1182/blood-2008-05-159624. Epub 2008 Jul 31.

Multiparameter flow cytometric remission is the most relevant prognostic factor for multiple myeloma patients who undergo autologous stem cell transplantation.

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Hospital Universitario de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain.


Minimal residual disease (MRD) assessment is standard in many hematologic malignancies but is considered investigational in multiple myeloma (MM). We report a prospective analysis of the prognostic importance of MRD detection by multiparameter flow cytometry (MFC) in 295 newly diagnosed MM patients uniformly treated in the GEM2000 protocol VBMCP/VBAD induction plus autologous stem cell transplantation [ASCT]). MRD status by MFC was determined at day 100 after ASCT. Progression-free survival (PFS; median 71 vs 37 months, P < .001) and overall survival (OS; median not reached vs 89 months, P = .002) were longer in patients who were MRD negative versus MRD positive at day 100 after ASCT. Similar prognostic differentiation was seen in 147 patients who achieved immunofixation-negative complete response after ASCT. Moreover, MRD(-) immunofixation-negative (IFx(-)) patients and MRD(-) IFx(+) patients had significantly longer PFS than MRD(+) IFx(-) patients. Multivariate analysis identified MRD status by MFC at day 100 after ASCT as the most important independent prognostic factor for PFS (HR = 3.64, P = .002) and OS (HR = 2.02, P = .02). Our findings demonstrate the clinical importance of MRD evaluation by MFC, and illustrate the need for further refinement of MM re-sponse criteria. This trial is registered at under identifier NCT00560053.

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