This article was originally published here
Br J Haematol. 2022 May 18. doi: 10.1111/bjh.18249. Online ahead of print.
Measurement of minimal residual disease (MRD) by next-generation flow cytometry (NGF) is an important tool to define deep responses in multiple myeloma (MM). However, little is known about the value of combining NGF with functional imaging and its role for MRD-based consolidation strategies in clinical routine. In the present study, we report our experience investigating these issues with 102 patients with newly diagnosed (n = 57) and relapsed/refractory MM (n = 45). Imaging was performed using either positron emission tomography or diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. In all, 45% of patients achieved MRD-negativity on both NGF and imaging (double-negativity), and 8% and 40% of patients were negative on either NGF or imaging respectively. Thus, in a minority of patients imaging was the only technique to detect residual disease. Imaging-positivity despite negativity on NGF was more common in heavily pretreated disease (four or more previous lines) compared to newly diagnosed MM (p < 0.01). Among the 29 patients undergoing MRD-triggered consolidation, 51% responded with MRD conversion and 21% with improved serological response. MRD-triggered consolidation led to superior progression-free survival (PFS) when compared to standard treatment (p = 0.04). In conclusion, we show that combining NGF with imaging is helpful particularly in patients with heavily pretreated MM, and that MRD-based consolidation could lead to improved PFS.