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Erythrocyte spermine levels: a prognostic parameter in childhood common acute lymphoblastic leukemia


Polyamines have been implicated to play a role in cell proliferation and in cancer development. Ninety percent of the circulating spermidine (Spd) and spermine (Spm) are transported by red blood cells (RBC). RBC Spd and Spm levels were prospectively determined in 63 unselected children with common acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The Spm and Spd levels were not correlated with white blood cell (WBC) count. On the basis of the polyamine levels it was possible to discriminate four groups with P < 10−3. In C1, C2, C3 and C4 group the Spm level was respectively 90 (39–597), 3.75 (1–7.45), 9.95 (2.9–12.6) and 17(6.3–33.8). The probability of relapse-free survival (RFS) of the 58 children who entered complete remission was 55% ± 9. For the groups C1 (n = 6), C2 (n = 16), C3 (n = 21) and C4 (n = 15) groups, the RFS was 25% ± 20, 73% ± 12, 73% ± 13 and 32% ± 13 respectively. For children with Spm levels <13/13 nmol/8 × 109 RBC, event-free survival (EFS) was 54% ± 11/33% ± 10 and RFS was 64% ± 12/38% ± 11 respectively (P < 0.03, P < 0.005). our clinical study shows clearly that an rbc spermine level could be used as parameter of prognosis at the time of diagnosis, particularly for patients with intermediary wbc count.

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Bergeron, C., Bansard, J., Le Moine, P. et al. Erythrocyte spermine levels: a prognostic parameter in childhood common acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Leukemia 11, 31–36 (1997).

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  • polyamine
  • acute leukemia
  • children
  • spermine, spermidine
  • multiple correspondence analysis

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