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Biotechnical Methods Section (BTS)

Real-time quantitative PCR detection of WT1 gene expression in children with AML: prognostic significance, correlation with disease status and residual disease detection by flow cytometry

Abstract

The clinical significance of WT1 gene expression at diagnosis and during therapy of AML has not yet been resolved. We analysed WT1 expression at presentation in an unselected group of 47 childhood AML patients using real-time quantitative reverse-transcription PCR. We also showed that within the first 30 h following aspiration RQ-RT-PCR results were not influenced by transportation time. We observed lower levels of WT1 transcript in AML M5 (P = 0.0015); no association was found between expression levels and sex, initial leukocyte count and karyotype-based prognostic groups. There was significant correlation between very low WT1 expression at presentation and excellent outcome (EFS P = 0.0014). Combined analysis of WT1 levels, three-colour flow cytometry residual disease detection and the course of the disease in 222 samples from 28 children with AML showed remarkable correlation. Fourteen patients expressed high WT1 levels at presentation. In eight of them, who suffered relapse or did not reach complete remission, dynamics of WT1 levels clearly correlated with the disease status and residual disease by flow cytometry. We conclude that very low WT1 levels at presentation represent a good prognostic factor and that RQ-RT-PCR-based analysis of WT1 expression is a promising and rapid approach for monitoring of MRD in approximately half of paediatric AML patients.

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Acknowledgements

Supported by grants from Grant Agency of the Czech Republic No. 312/P304, from the Czech Ministry of Health No. 6406–3 and 6512 and the Czech Ministry of Education No. 111300001, 111300003 and 111300005. We also acknowledge Dr E Coustan-Smith for critcial reading of the manuscript.

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Trka, J., Kalinová, M., Hrušák, O. et al. Real-time quantitative PCR detection of WT1 gene expression in children with AML: prognostic significance, correlation with disease status and residual disease detection by flow cytometry. Leukemia 16, 1381–1389 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.leu.2402512

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.leu.2402512

Keywords

  • WT1
  • childhood AML
  • minimal residual disease
  • RQ-PCR
  • flow cytometry

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