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Clinical outcomes and prognostic factors in patients with multiple myeloma in South Tyrol: a retrospective single-center analysis


High-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation (HD-ASCT) as well as the introduction of novel agents (NA) significantly improved survival for patients with multiple myeloma (MM). A total of 150 unselected newly diagnosed MM patients treated at our institution from 1998 to 2017 were retrospectively analyzed. Median age at diagnosis was 69 years (range 33–93 years) with a median follow-up of 48.6 months. The median overall survival (OS) for the entire cohort was 60.7 months (range 0.3–280.1). Patients who received frontline HD-ASCT (p < 0.01) or NA-based first-line treatment (p = 0.043) had a significantly better OS. According to the revised Myeloma Comorbidity Index (R-MCI), patients were defined as fit (36.5%), intermediate-fit (44.5%), or frail (19%) with a significant difference in OS between these categories (p < 0.01). Multivariate analysis revealed R-MCI as an independent prognostic factor for OS (p < 0.01). Presence of subclinical amyloid deposits (A+) was detected in 18 out of 66 patients (27.3%) and significantly correlated with a serum free light chain (sFLC) ratio ≥ 100 (p = 0.01) and bone marrow plasma cell infiltration > 60% (p = 0.04). Furthermore, patients with A+ had significantly worse OS compared with their counterparts (p = 0.048). Our results corroborate the efficacy of both early HD-ASCT and the use of new agents as initial therapy of MM patients in “real-world” daily clinical practice. The R-MCI is an easily applicable tool to stratify MM patients and may support treatment decisions. The prognostic value of subclinical amyloid deposition should be validated within prospective studies.

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This study was funded by the budget of the Südtiroler Sanitätsbetrieb.

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Correspondence to Dominic Fong.

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All procedures performed in this study that involved human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional committee, national research committee, and the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The Ethics Committee of the “Südtiroler Sanitätsbetrieb” approved this study by the protocol number 81-2018.

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Mair, M., Straka, C., Buratti, T. et al. Clinical outcomes and prognostic factors in patients with multiple myeloma in South Tyrol: a retrospective single-center analysis. Ann Hematol 99, 1031–1040 (2020).

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  • Multiple myeloma
  • Comorbidity index
  • R-MCI
  • Amyloidosis