Minimal Residual Disease

Does BCR-ABL genomic rearrangement persist in CML patients in complete remission after interferon α therapy?

Abstract

Cytogenetic, interphase fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and RT-PCR methods were used to study minimal residual disease in peripheral blood stem cells collected for autografting in three chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients in sustained complete cytogenetic remission after treatment with interferon α (IFNα). Karyotypic analysis failed to reveal Ph-positive metaphases. FISH detected 9–16% nuclei with a BCR-ABL fusion gene, contrasting with RT-PCR, performed in two cases, which was negative in one case and weakly positive in the other. RT-PCR was also subsequently weakly positive in the third patient. This discrepancy suggests that the BCR-ABL genomic rearrangement persists unexpressed in quiescent cells. These preliminary results, which need to be confirmed in larger series, suggest that monitoring residual disease in CML should be performed both at DNA and RNA levels. Moreover, autografting following IFNα therapy should be considered with caution because of the persistence of the BCR-ABL genomic rearrangement in a sizeable proportion of the cells.

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Brizard, F., Chomel, J., Veinstein, A. et al. Does BCR-ABL genomic rearrangement persist in CML patients in complete remission after interferon α therapy?. Leukemia 12, 1076–1080 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.leu.2401053

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Keywords

  • BCR-ABL
  • minimal residual disease
  • FISH
  • RT-PCR
  • leukapheresis
  • interferon α

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