BCR-ABL translocation in a dog with chronic monocytic leukemia


Dr. Janice A. Cruz Cardona, Department of Physiological Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, 2015 SW 16th Ave, Gainesville, FL, USA
E-mail: jcruzcardona@gmail.com


Abstract: A 9-year-old female spayed mixed breed dog was evaluated at the University of Florida Small Animal Hospital for marked leukocytosis with no associated clinical signs. CBC abnormalities included marked leukocytosis (106,000/μL), marked monocytosis (78,000/μL), and the presence of 13% blast cells (13,832/μL), supporting a diagnosis of leukemia. Cytopenias and dysplastic changes in other cell lines were not present. Microscopic examination of bone marrow showed hypercellular uniparticles with a marginal increase in frequency of unclassified blast cells (2%), but was otherwise unremarkable. Flow cytometric immunophenotyping of blood cells determined that leukemic cells were CD45+, CD14+, and CD34, and based on side scatter and CD45 reactivity the marrow contained 19% monoblasts. By immunocytochemical staining, the leukemic cells in the bone marrow were CD11b+, CD11c+, CD11d+, MHC-II+, MPO+, and CD34. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis of peripheral blood leukocytes documented a chromosomal translocation producing a BCR-ABL gene hybrid, similar to the “Philadelphia” chromosome abnormality recognized in human chronic myelogenous leukemia, as well as a phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) gene deletion. Hydroxyurea therapy was attempted, but was ineffective; the dog died 7 months after initial presentation. Clinical and laboratory findings and the protracted course supported a diagnosis of chronic monocytic leukemia (CMoL) and, to our knowledge, this is the first case of CMoL with a BCR-ABL chromosomal abnormalitiy described in dogs. This may have clinical implications for treatment of dogs with chronic leukemias associated with particular genetic mutations. However, more case studies are needed to further characterize this disease.