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Keywords:

  • B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia;
  • minimal residual disease;
  • CD304;
  • NRP-1;
  • flow cytometry

Abstract

Minimal residual disease (MRD) has emerged as a major prognostic factor for monitoring patients with B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). The quantification of MRD by flow cytometry (FC) is based on the identification of a leukemia-associated phenotype (LAP). Because phenotypic switch is common during treatment, multiple LAPs must be available and used for MRD detection over time. We evaluated the potential usefulness of CD304 as a new marker for monitoring MRD. CD304 was expressed in 48% of B-ALL (24/50) with discriminative fluorescence intensity compared with CD304-negative normal B-cell precursors (n = 15). The sensitivity of CD304-based MRD detection reached 10−4, as with some of established LAPs. The stability of CD304 expression evaluated during therapy and at relapse confirms the usefulness of this marker for MRD quantification. Finally, CD304 was repeatedly expressed in patients with TEL-AML1 gene rearrangement, which warrants further investigation on its potential relevance as a prognosis marker or therapeutic target. © 2011 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry