Patients with myeloma having a low RNA index prior to therapy show a number of findings associated with a worse prognosis. The low RNA index may reflect cytogenetic pathways that are associated with reduced RNA synthesis.


Method: flow cytometry, with measurement of > 10,000 cells


Timing: at presentation


RNA index =

= (mean RNA content of tumor G1/0 cells) / (mean RNA content of normal hematopoietic G1/0 cells)


Barlogie et al reported an index < 4 as a low RNA index.


A low RNA index is associated with:

(1) poor response to some chemotherapeutic agents

(2) shorter time to relapse

(3) reduced survival


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