The role of positron emission tomography with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose integrated with computed tomography in the evaluation of patients with multiple myeloma undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation

Francesca Patriarca, Francesca Carobolante, Elena Zamagni, Vittorio Montefusco, Benedetto Bruno, Emanuaela Englaro, Cristina Nanni, Onelio Geatti, Miriam Isola, Alessandra Sperotto, Silvia Buttignol, Raffaella Stocchi, Paolo Corradini, Michele Cavo, Renato Fanin
Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation 2015, 21 (6): 1068-73
Positron emission tomography (PET) integrated with computed tomography (PET/CT) has been reported to be useful for screening myelomatous lesions at diagnosis in patients with multiple myeloma (MM) and for monitoring response to autologous stem cell transplantation (auto-SCT). The aim of the study was to evaluate the prognostic significance of PET/CT in MM patients who received allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT). Patients who underwent upfront auto-SCT followed by allo-SCT, either as consolidation or salvage treatment, were studied with PET/CT before and/or within 6 months after allo-SCT. The number, the maximum standard uptake value (SUV), and the location (medullary or extramedullary) of focal lesions (FLs) were recorded and investigated as predictors of progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) by univariate and multivariate analyses. Fifty-four patients had a PET/CT scan before allo-SCT. Of these, 22 patients (41%) had a negative PET/CT scan, 11 patients (20%) showed 1 to 3 FLs, and 21 patients (39%) had either a diffuse bone marrow involvement or more than 3 FLs. SUV was >4.2 in 21 patients (39%) and extramedullary disease (EMD) was present in 6 patients (11%). Multivariate analysis of prognostic factors before allo-SCT showed that persistence of EMD at transplantation was an independent predictor of poor PFS, whereas OS was negatively influenced by unrelated donor and SUV > 4.2. Fifty-nine patients had a PET/CT scan within 6 months after allo-SCT. Multivariate analysis of post-treatment variables showed that persistence of EMD and failure to obtain complete response or very good partial response after allo-SCT were strongly associated with shorter PFS and OS. Of the 46 patients with evaluable PET/CT scans both before and 6 months after allo-SCT, the 23 patients who maintained or reached a PET complete remission showed a significantly prolonged PFS and OS compared with the 23 patients with persistence of any PET positivity (2-year PFS: 51% versus 25%, P = .03; 2-year OS: 81% versus 47%, P = .001). This study indicates that PET/CT imaging before and after allo-SCT is significantly associated with the outcome, suggesting the utility of this technique for MM staging before allo-SCT and for response monitoring after the transplantation.

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