Molecular remission after myeloablative allogeneic stem cell transplantation predicts a better relapse-free survival in patients with multiple myeloma

Blood. 2003 Sep 1;102(5):1927-9. doi: 10.1182/blood-2003-01-0189. Epub 2003 May 8.


Patients in complete clinical remission after myeloablative allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) were enrolled in a longitudinal study to assess the predictive value of molecular monitoring. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for immunoglobulin gene rearrangements it was possible to generate a clone-specific molecular marker in 48 of 70 patients. Of these 48 patients, 16 (33%) attained durable PCR-negativity after transplantation, whereas 13 (27%) remained persistently PCR-positive and 19 (40%) showed a mixed pattern. The cumulative risk of relapse at 5 years was 0% for PCR-negative patients, 33% for PCR-mixed patients, and 100% for PCR-positive patients. Within the group studied it was not possible to identify any clinical feature predictive of durable PCR-negativity. We believe that these findings could prompt the design of prospective studies to evaluate if the treatment of molecular disease can extend remission duration and survival.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Gene Rearrangement, B-Lymphocyte / genetics*
  • Genetic Markers
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / diagnosis*
  • Multiple Myeloma / epidemiology
  • Multiple Myeloma / therapy*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Recurrence
  • Remission Induction
  • Risk Factors


  • Genetic Markers