DOI: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2023011890 ISSN: 2473-9529

Analysis of baseline circulating tumor cells integrated with PET/CT findings in transplant-ineligible multiple myeloma

Daisuke Ikeda, Toshiki Terao, Mitsuaki Oura, Atsushi Uehara, Rikako Tabata, Kentaro Narita, Masami Takeuchi, Youichi Machida, Kosei Matsue
  • Hematology


We aimed to improve prognostic predictors in patients with transplant-ineligible multiple myeloma (TIE-MM) by combining baseline circulating clonal tumor cells (CTCs) and positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) findings. The factors associated with prognosis were retrospectively investigated in 126 patients with TIE-MM who underwent CTC quantification by multiparameter flow cytometry and PET/CT at the initial presentation. The total lesion glycolysis (TLG) level was calculated using the Metavol software. The median percentage of CTC was 0.06% (range, 0%-4.82%), and 54 patients (42.9%) demonstrated high CTC levels. High CTC levels were associated with significantly poorer progression-free survival (PFS, 2-year 43.4% vs 68.1%; P < .001) and overall survival (OS, 5-year 39.0% vs 68.3%; P < .001). Similarly, high TLG levels significantly worsened the PFS (2-year, 41.2% vs 67.6%; P = .038) and OS (5-year, 37.7% vs 63.1%; P = .019). The multivariate analyses showed that Revised International Staging System (R-ISS) III, high CTC and TLG levels, and complete response were significant prognostic factors for PFS and OS. A novel predictive model was constructed using CTCs, TLG, and R-ISS III. The patients were stratified into 3 groups according to the number of risk factors, revealing an extremely high-risk group with a 2-year PFS of 0% and a 5-year OS of 20%. Patients without any high-risk features had better prognosis, with a 2-year PFS of 78.6% and a 5-year OS of 79.5%. The combination of CTCs and volumetric assessment of PET/CT at diagnosis augments the existing stratification systems and may pave the way for a risk-adapted treatment approach.

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