Multiple myeloma (MM) is a plasma cell malignancy that is characterized by diverse clinical presentations. Although biochemical assessment of disease activity is commonly used to monitor treatment response, findings on magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT), among other imaging modalities, have proven to harbor prognostic value. We sought to corroborate these findings by examining the prognostic significance of fluorodeoxyglucose PET/CT scanning in the setting of newly diagnosed MM. We retrospectively analyzed 195 patients with a PET/CT available at diagnosis and at 6 months posttreatment to examine their value as an adjuvant metric to conventional hematologic responses in terms of time to next treatment (TTNT) and overall survival (OS). The median TTNT and OS for the entire cohort were 24.6 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 20.4-29.1) and 79 months (95% CI, 63.1-119.1), respectively. When comparing PET/CT negative (2) with PET/CT positive (1) patients, we found significantly prolonged median TTNT (55.2 vs 17.8 months, P, .0001) and OS (unreached vs 60.8 months, P, .0001) in the former group. We then examined the additive value of PET/CT on the hematologic response achieved at 6 months and found that PET/CT (2) is associated with significantly increased median TTNT and OS for the very good partial response (VGPR) group and the less than VGPR group. Importantly, PET/CT retained prognostic significance after adjusting for multiple other predictive variables. We conclude that a PET/CT (2) at 6 months confers a significant prognostic advantage for patients with newly diagnosed MM and adds significant value to the hematologic response assessment.
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