Functional Imaging for Therapeutic Assessment and Minimal Residual Disease Detection in Multiple Myeloma

Bastien Jamet, Elena Zamagni, Cristina Nanni, Clément Bailly, Thomas Carlier, Cyrille Touzeau, Anne-Victoire Michaud, Philippe Moreau, Caroline Bodet-Milin, Françoise Kraeber-Bodere
International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2020 July 29, 21 (15)
Serum markers and bone marrow examination are commonly used for monitoring therapy response in multiple myeloma (MM), but this fails to identify minimal residual disease (MRD), which frequently persists after therapy even in complete response patients, and extra-medullary disease escape. Positron emission tomography with computed tomography using 18F-deoxyglucose (FDG-PET/CT) is the reference imaging technique for therapeutic assessment and MRD detection in MM. To date, all large prospective cohort studies of transplant-eligible newly diagnosed MM patients have shown a strong and independent pejorative prognostic impact of not obtaining complete metabolic response by FDG-PET/CT after therapy, especially before maintenance. The FDG-PET/CT and MRD (evaluated by flow cytometry or next-generation sequencing at 10-5 and 10-6 levels, respectively) results are complementary for MRD detection outside and inside the bone marrow. For patients with at least a complete response, to reach double negativity (FDG-PET/CT and MRD) is a predictive surrogate for patient outcome. Homogenization of FDG-PET/CT interpretation after therapy, especially clarification of complete metabolic response definition, is currently underway. FDG-PET/CT does not allow MRD to be evaluated when it is negative at initial workup of symptomatic MM. New PET tracers such as CXCR4 ligands have shown high diagnostic value and could replace FDG in this setting. New sensitive functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques such as diffusion-weighted MRI appear to be complementary to FDG-PET/CT for imaging MRD detection. The goal of this review is to examine the feasibility of functional imaging, especially FDG-PET/CT, for therapeutic assessment and MRD detection in MM.

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