Immunoparesis (IP) in multiple myeloma (MM) patients can be measured by classic assessment of immunoglobulin (Ig) levels or by analysis of the uninvolved heavy/light chain pair of the same immunoglobulin (uHLC) by the Hevylite® assay. In this study we evaluate the prognostic value of recovery from IP measured by classic total Ig and uHLC assessment in newly diagnosed MM transplant-eligible (NDMM-TE) patients with intensive treatment and its association with Minimal Residual Disease (MRD). Patients were enrolled and treated in the PETHEMA/GEM2012MENOS65 trial and continued in the PETHEMA/GEM2014MAIN trial. Total Ig (IgG, IgA and IgM) and uHLC were analyzed in a central laboratory at diagnosis, after consolidation treatment and after the first year of maintenance. MRD was analyzed by next generation flow cytometry after consolidation (sensitivity level 2x10-6). We found no differences in progression free survival (PFS) between patients who recovered and patients who didn’t recover from IP after consolidation when examining classic total Ig and uHLC. However, after the first year of maintenance, in contrast to patients with classic IP, patients with recovery from uHLC IP had longer PFS than patients without recovery, with hazard ratio of 0.42 (CI95% 0.21–0.81; p=0.008). Multivariate analysis with Cox proportional-hazards regression models confirmed recovery from uHLC IP after the first year of maintenance as an independent prognostic factor for PFS, with an increase in C-statistic of 0.05 (-0.04–0.14; p<0.001) when adding uHLC IP recovery. Moreover, we observed that MRD status and uHLC IP recovery affords complementary information for risk stratification. In conclusion, recovery from uHLC IP after one year of maintenance is an independent prognostic factor for PFS in NDMM-TE patients who receive intensive treatment. Immune reconstitution, measured as recovery from uHLC IP, provides complementary prognostic information to MRD assessment.
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