A practical guide to defining high-risk myeloma for clinical trials, patient counseling and choice of therapy

A. K. Stewart, P. L. Bergsagel, P. R. Greipp, A. Dispenzieri, M. A. Gertz, S. R. Hayman, S. Kumar, M. Q. Lacy, J. A. Lust, S. J. Russell, T. E. Witzig, S. R. Zeldenrust, D. Dingli, C. B. Reeder, V. Roy, R. A. Kyle, S. V. Rajkumar, R. Fonseca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

170 Scopus citations


Clinical outcomes for multiple myeloma (MM) are highly heterogeneous and it is now clear that pivotal genetic events are the primary harbingers of such variation. These findings have broad implications for counseling, choice of therapy and the design and interpretation of clinical investigation. Indeed, as in acute leukemias and non-hodgkins lymphoma, we believe it is no longer acceptable to consider MM a single disease entity. As such, the accurate diagnosis of MM subtypes and the adoption of common criteria for the identification and stratification of MM patients has become critical. Herein, we provide a consensus high-risk definition and offer practical guidelines for the adoption of routine diagnostic testing. Although acknowledging that more refined classifications will continue to be developed, we propose that the definition of high-risk disease (any of the t(4;14), t(14;16), t(14;20), deletion 17q13, aneuploidy or deletion chromosome 13 by metaphase cytogenetics, or plasma cell labeling index >3.0) be adopted. This classification will identify most of the 25% of MM patients for whom current therapies are inadequate and for whom investigational regimens should be vigorously pursued. Conversely, the 75% of patients remaining have more favorable outcomes using existing - albeit non-curative - therapeutic options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-534
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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