A research team recently devised a score for risk stratification of patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM) based on hematopoietic features included in a standard complete blood count (CBC) test. Results were presented in the American Journal of Hematology.

In a retrospective study of 1540 patients who were newly diagnosed with MM, researchers evaluated patients’ hematopoietic variables in order to test a model of risk stratification. In this model, a score of 1 was attributed to each of the following: hemoglobin level below 10 g/dL, mean corpuscular volume greater than 96 fL, and platelet count less than 150 x 109/L.

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Using this model, a score of 0 was given to 46% of patients in this study, a score of 1 was given to 33%, a score of 2 was given to 17%, and a score of 3 was given to 4%.

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Higher risk stratification scores were associated with lower median progression-free survival (PFS). Patients with a score of 0 had a median PFS of 32.3 months, while those with a score of 3 had a median PFS of 18.3 months (P <.001).

Reduced median overall survival (OS) was also linked to having a higher risk stratification score. Patients with a score of 0 had a median OS of 80.7 months, while those with a score of 3 had a median OS of 31.3 months (P <.0001).

Multivariable analysis showed that this hematopoietic risk stratification model was a predictor of OS when patients with scores of 0 to 2 were compared with patients with a score of 3 (hazard ratio, 0.51; P =.006).

“We have shown that the hematopoietic score, which incorporated commonly available variables from a CBC, was able to predict OS in patients with newly diagnosed MM,” wrote the investigators. However, they recommended further study to confirm the prognostic utility of this scoring system.


  1. Al Saleh AS, Sidiqi MH, Dispenzieri A, et al. Hematopoietic score predicts outcomes in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients [published online October 15, 2019]. Am J Hematol. doi:10.1002/ajh.25657