Termini, R.; Zihala, D.; Terpos, E.; et al.
CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH
4771 - 4781
PURPOSE: Early intervention in smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) requires optimal risk stratification to avoid under- and overtreatment. We hypothesized that replacing bone marrow (BM) plasma cells (PC) for circulating tumor cells (CTC), and adding immune biomarkers in peripheral blood (PB) for the identification of patients at risk of progression due to lost immune surveillance, could improve the International Myeloma Working Group 20/2/20 model.EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We report the outcomes of 150 patients with SMM enrolled in the iMMunocell study, in which serial assessment of tumor and immune cells in PB was performed every 6 months for a period of 3 years since enrollment.RESULTS: Patients with >0.015% versus ¿0.015% CTCs at baseline had a median time-to-progression of 17 months versus not reached (HR, 4.9; P<0.001). Presence of >20% BM PCs had no prognostic value in a multivariate analysis that included serum free light-chain ratio >20, >2 g/dL M-protein, and >0.015% CTCs. The 20/2/20 and 20/2/0.015 models yielded similar risk stratification (C-index of 0.76 and 0.78). The combination of the 20/2/0.015 model with an immune risk score based on the percentages of SLAN+ and SLAN- nonclassical monocytes, CD69+HLADR+ cytotoxic NK cells, and CD4+CXCR3+ stem central memory T cells, allowed patient' stratification into low, intermediate-low, intermediate-high, and high-risk disease with 0%, 20%, 39%, and 73% rates of progression at 2 years.CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that CTCs outperform BM PCs for assessing tumor burden. Additional analysis in larger series are needed to define a consensus cutoff of CTCs for minimally invasive stratification of SMM.
BLOOD CANCER JOURNAL
There is evidence of reduced SARS-CoV-2 vaccine effectiveness in patients with hematological malignancies. We hypothesized that tumor and treatment-related immunosuppression can be depicted in peripheral blood, and that immune profiling prior to vaccination can help predict immunogenicity. We performed a comprehensive immunological characterization of 83 hematological patients before vaccination and measured IgM, IgG, and IgA antibody response to four viral antigens at day +7 after second-dose COVID-19 vaccination using multidimensional and computational flow cytometry. Health care practitioners of similar age were the control group (n = 102). Forty-four out of 59 immune cell types were significantly altered in patients; those with monoclonal gammopathies showed greater immunosuppression than patients with B-cell disorders and Hodgkin lymphoma. Immune dysregulation emerged before treatment, peaked while on-therapy, and did not return to normalcy after stopping treatment. We identified an immunotype that was significantly associated with poor antibody response and uncovered that the frequency of neutrophils, classical monocytes, CD4, and CD8 effector memory CD127low T cells, as well as naive CD21+ and IgM+D+ memory B cells, were independently associated with immunogenicity. Thus, we provide novel immune biomarkers to predict COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness in hematological patients, which are complementary to treatment-related factors and may help tailoring possible vaccine boosters.