Leukemia 1997 Sep;11(9):1497-500

Effect of the Philadelphia chromosome on minimal residual disease in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Brisco MJ, Sykes PJ, Dolman G, Neoh SH, Hughes E, Peng LM, Tauro G, Ekert H, Toogood I, Bradstock K, Morley AA

Department of Haematology, Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park, South Australia.

The Philadelphia translocation is associated with a poor prognosis in adults and children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, even though the majority of patients achieve remission. To test the hypothesis that the translocation leads to drug resistance in vivo, we studied 61 children and 20 adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and used the level of minimal residual disease at the end of induction as the measure of drug resistance in vivo. In children the presence of the translocation was associated with a significant increase in residual disease, indicating higher drug resistance in vivo; five of seven Philadelphia-positive children but only five of 54 Philadelphia-negative children had a minimal residual disease level >10(-3), a level which is associated with a high risk of relapse in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia of standard risk. By contrast, in adults, residual disease and hence drug resistance was already higher than in children, and the presence of the Philadelphia translocation in seven patients had no obvious additional effect. We conclude that the Philadelphia chromosome may increase resistance to drugs in vivo in children, but not detectably in adults.


PMID: 9305604, UI: 97449108

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