Surface antigens are commonly used in flow cytometry assays for the diagnosis of multiple myeloma (MM). Some of these are directly involved in MM pathogenesis or interactions with the microenvironment, but most are used for either diagnostic or prognostic purposes. In a previous study, we showed that in-vitro, CD24-positive plasma cells exhibit a less tumorigenic phenotype. Here, we assessed the prognostic importance of CD24 expression in patients newly diagnosed with MM as it correlates to their clinical course. Immunophenotyping by flow cytometry of 124 patients uniformly treated by a bortezomib-based protocol was performed. The expression of CD24, CD117, CD19, CD45, and CD56 in bone marrow PCs was tested for correlations to clinical parameters. None of the CD markers correlated with the response rates to first-line therapy. However, patients with elevated CD24+ expression on their PCs at diagnosis had a significantly longer PFS (p = 0.002) and OS (p = 0.044). In contrast, the expression of CD117, CD56, or CD45 was found to have no prognostic value; CD19 expression was inversely correlated with PFS alone (p < 0.001) and not with OS. Thus, elevated CD24 expression on PCs appears to be strongly correlated with survival and can be used as a single-surface antigenic prognostic factor in MM.
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- Multiparameter flow cytometry
- Multiple myeloma