Prognostic value of [18F]FDG-PET/CT in multiple myeloma patients before and after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation

  • Antje Stolzenburg
  • Katharina Lückerath
  • Samuel Samnick
  • Martin Speer
  • Katharina Kneer
  • Jan-Stefan Schmid
  • Götz Ulrich Grigoleit
  • Susanne Hofmann
  • Ambros J. Beer
  • Donald Bunjes
  • Stefan Knop
  • Andreas K. Buck
  • Hermann Einsele
  • Constantin Lapa
Original Article



Despite improved treatment options, multiple myeloma (MM) remains an incurable disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic value of positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) using 18F-2’-deoxy-2’-fluorodeoxyglucose ([18F]FDG) in MM patients shortly before and ~100 days after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT).


In this retrospective analysis, we evaluated [18F]FDG-PET/CT-scans of 45 heavily pre-treated MM patients before and 27 patients after scheduled allo-HCT. All scans were qualitatively and semi-quantitatively assessed for the presence of active disease. Serological response was recorded according to International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) criteria. Progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were correlated with different PET/CT-derived parameters, such as presence, number and maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) of focal myeloma lesions. The impact of extramedullary disease on patient outcome was also assessed.


PET/CT negativity -prior to or following allo-HCT- was a favorable prognostic factor for progression-free and overall survival (both, PFS and OS: pre-HSCT p < 0.001, post-HCT p < 0.005). High FDG-uptake (SUVmax > 6.5) revealed a significantly shortened survival compared to patients with a lower SUVmax (<6.5) (OS, 5.0 ± 1.1 m vs. not reached - longest 122.0 m; p < 0.001). Moreover, our data prove that a higher number (>3) of focal lesions (pre-HCT: both PFS and OS: p < 0.001; post-HCT PFS: p < 0.001, OS: p = 0.139) as well as the presence of extramedullary disease serve as adverse prognostic factors prior to and after allo-HCT. At response assessment after allo-HCT, [18F]FDG-PET/CT had a complementary value in prognostication in addition to IMWG criteria alone.


[18F]FDG-PET/CT before and shortly after allogeneic HCT is a powerful predictor for progression-free and overall survival in MM patients.


Multiple myeloma Molecular imaging FDG-PET/CT Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation 



Wilhelm Sander-Stiftung, grant 2013.906.1.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

All procedures involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Disclosure of potential conflict of interest

All authors state that they have nothing to disclose.

Supplementary material

259_2018_3997_MOESM1_ESM.docx (24 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 23 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antje Stolzenburg
    • 1
  • Katharina Lückerath
    • 1
    • 2
  • Samuel Samnick
    • 1
  • Martin Speer
    • 1
  • Katharina Kneer
    • 3
  • Jan-Stefan Schmid
    • 1
  • Götz Ulrich Grigoleit
    • 4
  • Susanne Hofmann
    • 5
    • 6
  • Ambros J. Beer
    • 3
  • Donald Bunjes
    • 5
  • Stefan Knop
    • 4
  • Andreas K. Buck
    • 1
  • Hermann Einsele
    • 4
  • Constantin Lapa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear MedicineUniversity Hospital Würzburg, Medical CenterWürzburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Molecular & Medical Pharmacology, Ahmanson Translational Imaging DivisionUniversity of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Department of Nuclear MedicineUniversity of Ulm, Medical CenterUlmGermany
  4. 4.Department of Internal Medicine II, Hematology and OncologyUniversity Hospital WürzburgWürzburgGermany
  5. 5.Department of Internal Medicine III, Hematology and OncologyUniversity of Ulm, Medical CenterUlmGermany
  6. 6.Department of Internal Medicine VUniversity Hospital HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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