Trisomies of odd numbered chromosomes are seen in nearly half of patients with multiple myeloma (MM) and typically correlate with a hyperdiploid state and better overall survival (OS). We compared DNA ploidy of monoclonal plasma cells (as a surrogate for the presence of trisomies) assessed simultaneously by PCPRO (plasma cell proliferative index), a novel method that estimates DNA index by multi-parametric flow cytometry to fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in 1703 patients with plasma cell disorders. The distribution of ploidy was hyperdiploid: 759 (45%), diploid 765 (45%), hypodiploid: 71 (4%), tetraploid/near-tetraploid: 108 (6%). FISH identified trisomies in 82% (621/756) of patients with hyperdiploidy by PCPRO and no trisomy by FISH was observed in 88% (730/834) of patients without hyperdiploidy. 95% (795/834) of patients without hyperdiploidy on PCPRO had one or less trisomy by FISH. Sensitivity and specificity of PCPRO for detecting hyperdiploidy was 86% (621/725) and 84% (730/865), respectively. Sensitivity increased to 94% (579/618) for patients with more than one trisomy. Newly diagnosed MM patients with hyperdiploidy on PCPRO (147/275) had better OS compared to nonhyperdiploid patients (median not reached vs 59 months, P = 0.008) and better progression free survival (median: 33 vs 23 months, P = 0.03). Within the hyperdiploidy group, patients with high-hyperdiploidy (DNA index: 1.19-1.50) versus those with low-hyperdiploidy (DNA index: 1.05-1.18) had superior OS (3 year OS of 88% vs 68% P = 0.03). Ploidy assessment by flow cytometry can provide rapid, valuable prognostic information and also reduces the number of copy number FISH probes required and hence the cost of FISH.
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