Residual Disease in B-Cell Chronic Lymphocytic-Leukemia Patients and Prognostic Value

Lenormand, B.; Bizet, M.; Fruchart, C.; Tilly, H.; Daliphard, S.; Thouret, F.; Canipel, C.; Callat, M. P.; Piguet, H.; Lefranc, M. P.; Monconduit, M.


1994-06 / vol 8 / pages 1019-1026


Twenty-two B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients were investigated to evaluate residual disease in clinico-hematological remission. Residual disease was determined by monotypy of surface light chain expression and by dual-color staining with CD5 and CD19 markers. Samples were analyzed on flow cytometer. Total CD19+ cells above 25%, the CD5+CD19+/total CD19+ cells ratio above 0.25, clonal excess above 0.4 were considered positive for residual disease. According to these immunological criteria, only four cases achieved phenotypic remission. Our data confirm that dual marker analysis is more sensitive than clonal excess and may predict an early relapse. Ig gene rearrangements were studied by Southern blot analysis using IGHJ and IGKC probes in fifteen cases. All 12 cases that retained a detectable rearrangement displayed a phenotypic residual disease. Conversely, in two cases, DNA analysis failed to detect the residual disease characterized by flow cytometry. In conclusion, this study suggests that in B-CLL, dual marker analysis is sensitive in predicting an early relapse in sequential evaluations of residual disease, whereas rearranged bands are undetectable when the proportion of malignant cells is low.



cll; clonal excess; gene rearrangements; markers

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