MRD Negativity “Achievable” Even in High-Risk Refractory Multiple Myeloma

In a “real-world experience” study, German researchers have shown that MRD negativity can be achieved in patients with multiple myeloma (MM) who have high-risk disease or have received multiple prior lines of treatment. The researchers, from Würzberg University Hospital, reported that their data also support combining MRD diagnostics with functional imaging to rule out residual focal lesions in patients with relapsed or refractory MM (RRMM).

The study, presented at the 62nd American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition, included 66 patients with either newly diagnosed or RRMM who had achieved a very good partial response or better; 15 patients had high-risk disease (defined as the presence of deletion 17p, translocation [14;16] or [4;14]. Bone-marrow aspirates were analyzed with next-generation flow cytometry (NGF) at a sensitivity level of 10-5. In a subset of 46 patients, the NGF results were compared with functional imaging with positron emission tomography and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging.

Seventeen patients were MRD negative on NGF. A complete response or better was significantly associated with MRD negativity. When the functional imaging and NGF results were combined, 12 of 46 patients were MRD negative by both methods, including 30% of the patients with high-risk genetics.  


Böckle D, Gaviria PT, Zhou X, et al. Real-World Experience with Minimal Residual Disease Testing with Next Generation Flow Cytometry and Functional Imaging in Multiple Myeloma. Abstract 3167 presented 12/6/2020. 62nd American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition. https://ash.confex.com/ash/2020/webprogram/Paper140772.html