A liquid biopsy to detect multidrug resistance and disease burden in multiple myeloma.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Blood cancer journal, 2020, 10, (3)
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Multiple myeloma is an incurable cancer of bone marrow plasma cells, with a 5-year survival rate of 43%. Its incidence has increased by 126% since 1990. Treatment typically involves high-dose combination chemotherapy, but therapeutic response and patient survival are unpredictable and highly variable-attributed largely to the development of multidrug resistance (MDR). MDR is the simultaneous cross-resistance to a range of unrelated chemotherapeutic agents and is associated with poor prognosis and survival. Currently, no clinical procedures allow for a direct, continuous monitoring of MDR. We identified circulating large extracellular vesicles (specifically microparticles (MPs)) that can be used to monitor disease burden, disease progression and development of MDR in myeloma. These MPs differ phenotypically in the expression of four protein biomarkers: a plasma-cell marker (CD138), the MDR protein, P-glycoprotein (P-gp), the stem-cell marker (CD34); and phosphatidylserine (PS), an MP marker and mediator of cancer spread. Elevated levels of P-gp+ and PS+ MPs correlate with disease progression and treatment unresponsiveness. Furthermore, P-gp, PS and CD34 are predominantly expressed in CD138- MPs in advanced disease. In particular, a dual-positive (CD138-P-gp+CD34+) population is elevated in aggressive/unresponsive disease. Our test provides a personalised liquid biopsy with potential to address the unmet clinical need of monitoring MDR and treatment failure in myeloma.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: