IMWG consensus on risk stratification in multiple myeloma (Leukemia, Sept 2013)

A/Prof Chng Wee Joo, Deputy Director and PI at CSI Singapore, is the first Asian to lead a consensus in the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG), which is a select and collaborative assemble of leading myeloma specialists from around the globe. The IMWG’s work includes publishing guidelines for the management of myeloma and conducting translational research.


Multiple myeloma is characterized by underlying clinical and biological heterogeneity, which translates to variable response to treatment and outcome. With the recent increase in treatment armamentarium and the projected further increase in approved therapeutic agents in the coming years, the issue of having some mechanism to dissect this heterogeneity and rationally apply treatment is coming to the fore. A number of robustly validated prognostic markers have been identified and the u se of these markers in stratifying patients into different risk groups has been proposed. In this consensus statement, the International Myeloma Working Group propose well-defined and easily applicable risk categories based on current available information and suggests the use of this set of prognostic factors as gold standards in all clinical trials and form the basis of subsequent development of more complex prognostic system or better prognostic factors. At the same time, these risk categories serve as a framework to rationalize the use of therapies.

Link to PubMed


W J Chng1,2,3, A Dispenzieri4, C-S Chim5, R Fonseca6, H Goldschmidt7, S Lentzsch8, N Munshi9, A Palumbo10, J S Miguel11, P Sonneveld12, M Cavo13, S Usmani14, B GM Durie15 and H Avet-Loiseau16 on behalf of the International Myeloma Working Group17

1Department of Haematology Oncology, National University Cancer Institute, Singapore, National University Health System
2Experimental Therapeutics, Cancer Science Institute of Singapore
3Department of Medicine, Yoo Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore
4Division of Hematology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
5Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong, Kong
6Division of Hematology-Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ, USA
7University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
8Department of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology, Columbia University, NY, USA
9Dana- Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA
10Myeloma Unit, Division of Hematology, University of Torino, Torino, Italy
11Servicio de Hematologia, Hospital Universitario de Salamanca, CIC, IBMCC (USAL-CSIC), Salamanca, Spain
12Department of Hematology, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
13Institute of Hematology and Medical Oncology “Seragnoli”, Bologna University School of Medicine, Bologna, Italy
14Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, USA
15Southwest Oncology Group, International Myeloma Foundation, Cedars- Sinai Outpatient Cancer Center at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer, Institute, Los Angeles, CA, USA
16Unité de Génomique du Myélome, University Hospital, Toulouse, France
Correspondence: Professor WJ Chng, Department of Haematology-Oncology, National University Cancer Institute, Singapore, National University Health System, NUHS Tower Block, Level 7, 1E Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119228, Singapore. E-mail: mdccwj[at]
17International Myeloma Working Group