Imaging Biomarkers for Staging and Assessing Response to Therapy in Multiple Myeloma

JI Program: Exploratory (Radiology)


Multiple myeloma (MM) is the second most common hematologic malignancy affecting terminally differentiated plasma cells. Despite advances in multi-modality therapy, patients with myeloma live on an average of five to seven years. The development of new therapies has resulted in improved outcomes for patients with MM; yet, there is an unmet clinical need to develop systemic and non-invasive imaging biomarkers in accurate staging and quantitative treatment response assessment in MM, allowing the optimizing therapy for individual patients, and improving patient care. This collaborative project seeks to discover clinically translatable magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) metrics that would provide a predictive biomarker to stage and assess treatment response in MM. The computerized image analysis and quantification methods with MRI (conventional MRI and diffusion MRI) will be useful as a clinical decision support system at the time of baseline examination, and subsequently for quantitative imaging, treatment response monitoring, and prognosis prediction. Quantitative data from computerized image analysis and MRI should improve the accuracy and efficacy of the staging and the assessment of treatment response for multiple myeloma. The specific aim of this project is to investigate the ability of 3D dynamic intensity entropy transformation (DIET) enhanced MRI and diffusion-weighted MRI (DW-MRI) for assessing treatment response in multiple myeloma that correlates with clinical outcome, and establish to what extent DIET enhanced and diffusion MRI predict treatment response in myeloma patients.


  • A total of 50 subjects were recruited from PKUHSC, with 35 recruited at Michigan Medicine.
  • Based on preliminary data, our hypothesis is that the development of noninvasive imaging biomarkers from quantitative  image analysis of multiple MRI sequences, in combination with clinical biomarkers, will improve the accuracy and efficacy of staging and assessment of treatment response for MM.
  • Data from this research will lay the foundation for a larger scale clinical trial to definitively test the hypothesis, which will enable quantitative staging, treatment response monitoring, and prognosis prediction.


  1. Zhou C, Chan H-P, Dong Q, Couriel DR, Pawarode A, Hadjiiski LM and Wei J. Quantitative analysis of MRI for assessment of treatment response for patient with multiple myeloma using dynamic intensity entropy transformation (DIET) method: a preliminary study. Radiology. 2015 Jul 20:142804. PMID: 26192897.