Outcomes after biochemical or clinical progression in patients with multiple myeloma

Sarah Goldman-Mazu, Alissa Visram, Prashant Kapoor, Angela Dispenzieri, Martha Q. Lacy, Morie A. Gertz, Francis K. Buadi, Suzanne R. Hayman, David Dingli, Taxiarchis Kourelis, Wilson Gonsalves, Rahma Warsame, Eli Muchtar, Nelson Leung, Moritz Binder, Amie Fonder, Miriam Hobbs, Yi Lisa Hwa, Robert A. Kyle, S. Vincent RajkumarShaji K. Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Almost all patients with multiple myeloma (MM) eventually relapse, either asymptomatically or with end-organ damage. However, it remains unclear whether initiating therapy at the time of biochemical progression (BP) improves the outcomes compared with initiating therapy at the clinical progression (CP) stage. Here, we retrospectively assessed 1347 patients with relapsed MM. Most progressions were BP (60.4%); 39.6% had CP. The most prevalent symptoms at relapse were new or evolving bone disease (80.9%), anemia (38.0%), and renal failure (12.7%). Patients with BP had longer median time from second-line treatment to the next treatment compared with patients who had CP (17.0 vs 9.6 months; P < .001) as well as longer median overall survival from first relapse (59.4 vs 26.2 months; P < .001). Male sex (odds ratio [OR], 1.49; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-2.18; P = .04), plasma cell labeling index ≥2% (OR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.02-2.45; P = .04), and extramedullary disease at diagnosis (OR, 1.84; 95% CI, 1.08-3.13; P = .03) were associated with higher risk of CP, whereas very good partial remission or better had decreased risk of CP (OR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.43-0.91; P = .02). To conclude, patients with CP have inferior postprogression outcomes compared with patients who have BP. Patients with deeper response to first-line therapy are less likely to develop CP. The presence of a specific CRAB (C, hypercalcemia; R, renal failure; A, anemia; B, bone disease) symptom at diagnosis predicts for the development of similar CRAB symptoms at relapse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)909-917
Number of pages9
JournalBlood Advances
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 28 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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