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Blood Cancer J. 2011 Sep;1(9):e35. doi: 10.1038/bcj.2011.34. Epub 2011 Sep 16.

Comorbidity as a prognostic variable in multiple myeloma: comparative evaluation of common comorbidity scores and use of a novel MM-comorbidity score.


Comorbidities have been demonstrated to affect progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS), although their impact in multiple myeloma (MM) patients is as yet unsettled. We (1) assessed various comorbidities, (2) compared established comorbidity indices (CIs; Charlson comorbidity index (CCI), hematopoietic cell transplantation-specific comorbidity index (HCT-CI)), Kaplan Feinstein (KF) and Satariano index (SI) and (3) developed a MM-CI (Freiburger comorbidity index, FCI) in 127 MM patients. Univariate analysis determined moderate or severe pulmonary disease (hazard ratio (HR): 3.5, P<0.0001), renal impairment (via estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR); HR: 3.4, P=0.0018), decreased Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS, HR: 2.7, P=0.0004) and age (HR: 2, P=0.0114) as most important variables for diminished OS. Through multivariate analysis, the eGFR ⩽30 ml/min/1.73m(2), impaired lung function and KPS ⩽70% were significant for decreased OS, with HRs of 2.9, 2.8 and 2.2, respectively. Combination of these risk factors within the FCI identified significantly different median OS rates of 118, 53 and 25 months with 0, 1 and 2 or 3 risk factors, respectively, (P<0.005). In light of our study, comorbidities are critical prognostic determinants for diminished PFS and OS. Moreover, comorbidity scores are important treatment decision tools and will be valuable to implement into future analyses and clinical trials in MM.

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