Based on preliminary encouraging results in terms of response rate and survival, high-dose chemoradiotherapy has gained considerable interest in the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma (MM). We have evaluated the presence of residual myeloma cells in 15 of 18 patients enrolled in a high- dose sequential (HDS) chemoradiotherapy program followed by autografting. Our analysis has been performed both on bone marrow (BM) and peripheral blood (PB) cell harvests and after autografting. As it has been recently shown that B cells clonally related to malignant plasma cells are detectable in MM patients, we have developed a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based strategy to detect both residual B cells and plasma cells using clone-specific sequences derived from the rearrangement of Ig heavy chain (IgH) genes. The complementarity-determining regions (CDR) of IgH genes have been used to generate tumor-specific primers and probes. The constant (C) region usage defined the differentiation stage of residual myeloma cells. We report that plasma cells were detectable in PB and BM cell harvests and after transplantation in all assessable patients, irrespective of disease status. B cells were detectable in a consistent proportion of BM and PB samples at diagnosis, but only in one case at the time of PB and BM cell harvests. These cells became sometimes detectable after transplantation. Whether residual myeloma cells are clonogenic and contribute to relapse is currently unknown, and further investigations are required.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 1995|
ASJC Scopus subject areas