Expression of myeloid antigens by blast cells in acute lymphoblastic leukemia of adults. The Southwest Oncology Group experience

D. H. Boldt, K. J. Kopecky, D. Head, G. Gehly, J. P. Radich, F. R. Appelbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


A subset of adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients have blast cells which co-express myeloid-associated antigens (MY+ ALL). We have analyzed 113 adult ALL cases for expression of MY-associated antigens (MAA). ALL was diagnosed by standard morphology, cytochemistry, and immunophenotype in central review. MY+ ALL was diagnosed when ≥ 20% of lymphoblasts co-expressed CD13 and/or CD33. Overall incidence of MY+ was 31/113 (27%). MAA expression was not significantly correlated with WBC, blast count, hemoglobin, or hematocrit. MY+ cases were more likely to express B-associated antigens, especially CALLA, and to be FAB L2, Ph+, or to have the BCR-ABL translocation by PCR, but these differences were not statistically significant. All patients were induced with a L10M regimen, and 67 (59%) achieved CR: 43/66 (65%) of B MY neg; 14/29 (48%) of B MY+; 10/16 (63%) T MY neg; and 0/2 T MY+. In age-adjusted analyses CR rate did not differ significantly between MY+ and MY neg patients or between B- and T-cell patients. of the 113 patients, 84 have died and the remaining 29 patients have been followed for a median of 49 months. In proportional hazards regression analyses adjusting for age and WBC, heterogeneity of survival among the four groups was statistically significant (p = 0.021), largely due to MY status. The mortality rate was 85% greater for MY+ patients compared to MY neg patients (two-tailed p = 0.013). By contrast, survival did not vary significantly between B- and T-cell patients. The data indicate that MAA expression is useful for predicting overall survival of adult patients with ALL treated in a L10M protocol. As a predictive factor MAA expression is comparable to the WBC and superior to the more standard stratification by B- or T-cell markers for this group of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2118-2126
Number of pages9
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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