DOI: 10.1007/s00259-018-4108-yPages: 116-128

Prognostic significance of normalized FDG-PET parameters in patients with multiple myeloma undergoing induction chemotherapy and autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: a retrospective single-center evaluation

1. Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS-Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Istituto di Medicina Nucleare

2. Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, U.O.C. Medicina Nucleare e Centro PET-TC

3. Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, Istituto di Ematologia

4. Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS-Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Istituto di Ematologia

Correspondence to:
Carmelo Caldarella
Tel: +39-0630156200




The purpose of this study was to determine retrospectively, through a single-center evaluation, whether FDG PET-CT normalized semi-quantitative parameters may predict response to induction chemotherapy (iChT) and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), as well as disease progression and progression-free survival in multiple myeloma (MM) patients, thus becoming a tool of personalized medicine.


Patients undergoing iChT and HSCT with baseline and post-treatment FDG PET-CTs from January 2008 to July 2015 were included. The following baseline and post-treatment parameters were obtained: SUVmax, SUVmean, SUVpeak, MTVsum, TLGsum, rPET (lesion SUVmax/liver SUVmax) and qPET (lesion SUVpeak/liver SUVmean). Baseline-to-post-treatment changes (Δ) were also calculated. Metabolic and clinical laboratory progression or response at follow-up were noted; time-to-metabolic-progression (TMP) was defined as the interval from post-treatment scan to eventual progression at follow-up FDG PET-CTs. Possible association between each functional parameter and metabolic/clinical-laboratory progression or response was determined. Kaplan-Meier curves allowed to depict the TMP trend according to FDG PET-CT parameters.


Twenty-eight patients were included. Significantly higher ΔrPET and ΔqPET values were observed in ten patients with “metabolic response”, with respect to 18 patients having “metabolic progression” (median 0.62 [IQR 0.32 – 1.34] vs median 0.00 [IQR -0.25 – 0.49] for ΔrPET; P = 0.045; median 0.51 [IQR 0.32 – 1.13] vs median 0.00 [IQR -0.31 – 0.67] for ΔqPET; P = 0.035). Neither normalized nor non normalized parameters differed significantly between the 20 patients with “clinical-laboratory response” and the eight patients with “clinical-laboratory progression”. ΔrPET value lower than 0.38 and ΔqPET value lower than 0.27 predicted a significantly shorter TMP (P = 0.003 and P = 0.005, respectively).


Normalized semi-quantitative parameters are effective in predicting persistent response to treatment and shorter TMP in patients with MM undergoing iChT and HSCT.

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  • Accepted: Jul 23, 2018
  • Online: Jul 27, 2018

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