Assessment of the role of genetic abnormalities and minimal residual disease (MRD) is an active developing area in hematology. The use of genetic methods makes it possible to predict the course of the disease and apply an individualized approach to antimyeloma therapy. At the same time, the identification of MRD after therapy determines possibility of relapse.

Aim. To identify the prognostic potential of MRD in patients in the standard and high molecular risk groups.

Materials and methods. We analyzed 72 patients with MM (median age was 59 years (range 37-80), male/female - 1.3:1). All patients received initial therapy with proteasome inhibitors and / or immunomodulators. High dose therapy (MEL200) and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) was carried out 50 (69%) patients. Standard cytogenetic and FISH methods were used to stratify patients in risk groups of mSMART 3.0. The standard risk (SR) was established in 52 (72%) patients, the high risk (HR) - in 20 (28%) patients. The MFC MRD status of bone marrow was evaluated after 4-6 cycles of induction therapy or after ASCT with use of 5-colors flow cytometry. MRD-negative status (MRD-) was based on level of clonal plasma cells <10-4 in bone marrow sample.

Results. The MRD- was reached in 36% (26/72) patients. The median of OS in MRD+ group was 104 months, in MRD- was 146 months (p=.01). The median of PFS in MRD+ group was 26 months, in MRD- was 70 months (p=.00021). 2-years PFS in MRD+ group was 56%, in MRD- group was 100% (p=.00021). We divided patients into the following groups for evaluation the effect of MRD on survival in risk groups: SR МRD+ 34/72 (47%), SR МRD- 18/72 (25%), HR МRD+ 12/72 (17%) and HR MFC МRD- 8/72 (11%). The median of OS in HR MRD+ group was 72 months, in SR MRD+ - 104 months, in HR MRD- - 146 months, in SR MRD- was not achieved (p=.02). The median of PFS in HR MRD+ group was 24 months, in SR MRD+ - 26 months, in HR MRD- - 68 months, in SR MRD- - 70 months (p=.003). The 2-years PFS in HR MRD+ group was 44%, in SR MRD+ group was 50% and in SR MRD- and HR MRD- groups were 100% (p=.003).

Conclusion. The absence of MRD is the most important prognostic factor. The leveling of negative effect of genetic abnormalities become possible when the MRD-negative response status is achieved. Presumably, this is due to the elimination of clonal plasma cells owing to the use of optimal antimyeloma therapy which is based on the risk stratification.


Martynkevich:Pfizer: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; BMS: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Novartis: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau. Shuvaev:Novartis: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; BMS: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Pfizer: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.

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