Residual disease (RD) is an important prognostic factor in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Flow cytometry (FC)-based RD detection is easy to perform, but interpretation requires expert analysis due to individual differences among patients.
We focused at the design of standardized and reproducible RD monitoring in ALL. RD was investigated by a uniform gating strategy, which was designed internationally and tested in one center by Ig/TCR rearrangements.
For each gate, positivity cutoff value was assigned using quantification of non-leukemic background. Comparing to Ig/TCR at 0.1% level, 80 of 103 specimens were correctly diagnosed by FC. The predictive value of FC RD at day 15 was then analyzed. In B lineage ALL, day 15 FC significantly correlated with Ig/TCR results at day 33 and/or week 12 (P < 0.01). No significant correlation was found in T lineage ALL.
Thus, FC with preset uniform gating at day 15 predicts PCR-detectable MRD in B precursor ALL. Presented data may be used to define new polychromatic cytometric diagnostics of MRD including semiautomatic assessment. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2010; 54:62–70. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.