Morphogenomics | Circulating plasma cells

Morphogenomic assay for detecting circulating plasma cells

Morphogenomic assay for detecting circulating plasma cells

Published in Current Oncology


Multiple myeloma is an incurable malignancy that initiates from a bone marrow resident clonal plasma cell and acquires successive mutational changes and genomic alterations, eventually resulting in tumor burden accumulation and end-organ damage. It has been recently recognized that myeloma secondary genomic events result in extensive sub-clonal heterogeneity both in localized bone marrow areas and circulating peripheral blood plasma cells. Rare genomic subclones, including myeloma initiating cells, could be the drivers of disease progression and recurrence. Additionally, evaluation of rare myeloma cells in blood for disease monitoring has numerous advantages over invasive bone marrow biopsies. To this end, an unbiased method for detecting rare cells and delineating their genomic makeup enables disease detection and monitoring in conditions with low abundant cancer cells. In this study, we applied an enrichment-free four-plex (CD138, CD56, CD45, DAPI) immunofluorescence assay and single-cell DNA sequencing for morphogenomic characterization of plasma cells to detect and delineate common and rare plasma cells and discriminate between normal and malignant plasma cells in paired blood and bone marrow aspirates from five patients with newly diagnosed myeloma (N = 4) and monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (n = 1). Morphological analysis confirms CD138+CD56+ cells in the peripheral blood carry genomic alterations that are clonally identical to those in the bone marrow. A subset of altered CD138+CD56- cells are also found in the peripheral blood consistent with the known variability in CD56 expression as a marker of plasma cell malignancy. Bone marrow tumor clinical cytogenetics is highly correlated with the single-cell copy number alterations of the liquid biopsy rare cells. A subset of rare cells harbors genetic alterations not detected by standard clinical diagnostic methods of random localized bone marrow biopsies. This enrichment-free morphogenomic approach detects and characterizes rare cell populations derived from the liquid biopsies that are consistent with clinical diagnosis and have the potential to extend our understanding of subclonality at the single-cell level in this disease. Assay validation in larger patient cohorts has the potential to offer liquid biopsy for disease monitoring with similar or improved disease detection as traditional blind bone marrow biopsies

Read the paper in Current Oncology


Ndacayisaba L.J. et al., 2022 Apr 21, Enrichment-Free Single-Cell Detection and Morphogenomic Profiling of Myeloma Patient Samples to Delineate Circulating Rare Plasma Cell Clones. Current Oncology