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Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)

CD38 expression is an important prognostic marker in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia


Employing a multicolour flow cytometry assay, 133 B-chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (B-CLL) cases were analysed for surface expression of CD38. Based on a cut-off value of 20%, CLL patients were categorised into a CD38-positive (20%, n = 56) and a CD38-negative subgroup (<20%, n = 77) and separately analysed for clinical and laboratory parameters. Patients in the CD38-positive cohort were characterised by an unfavourable clinical course with a more advanced disease stage, poor responsiveness to chemotherapy, short time to initiation of first treatment and shorter survival. In contrast, the CD38- negative group required minimal or no treatment, remained treatment-free for a longer time period and had prolonged survival (P < 0.05). CD38 expression was a robust marker in the majority of patients in that it was stable over time and not significantly influenced by chemotherapy. In conclusion, our data confirm recent studies suggesting a role of CD38 as a predictor of clinical outcome in patients with B-CLL.

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This work represents a part of MNs MD thesis. We are indebted to numerous colleagues for generously contributing information on the clinical course and treatment histories of the study patients.

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Dürig, J., Naschar, M., Schmücker, U. et al. CD38 expression is an important prognostic marker in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Leukemia 16, 30–35 (2002).

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  • B-CLL
  • prognostic marker
  • CD38

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