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Sao Paulo Medical Journal

Print version ISSN 1516-3180

Abstract

VALERA, Elvis Terci et al. Multiple drug resistance protein (MDR-1), multidrug resistance-related protein (MRP) and lung resistance protein (LRP) gene expression in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Sao Paulo Med. J. [online]. 2004, vol.122, n.4, pp. 166-171. ISSN 1516-3180.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-31802004000400007.

CONTEXT: Despite the advances in the cure rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, approximately 25% of affected children suffer relapses. Expression of genes for the multiple drug resistance protein (MDR-1), multidrug resistance-related protein (MRP), and lung resistance protein (LRP) may confer the phenotype of resistance to the treatment of neoplasias. OBJECTIVE: To analyze the expression of the MDR-1, MRP and LRP genes in children with a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia via the semiquantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and to determine the correlation between expression and event-free survival and clinical and laboratory variables. DESIGN: A retrospective clinical study. SETTING: Laboratory of Pediatric Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil. METHODS: Bone marrow aspirates from 30 children with a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia were assessed for the expression of messenger RNA for the MDR-1, MRP and LRP genes by semi-quantitative RT-PCR. RESULTS: In the three groups studied, only the increased expression of LRP was related to worsened event-free survival (p = 0.005). The presence of the common acute lymphoblastic leukemia antigen (CALLA) was correlated with increased LRP expression (p = 0.009) and increased risk of relapse or death (p = 0.05). The relative risk of relapse or death was six times higher among children with high LRP expression upon diagnosis (p = 0.05), as confirmed by multivariate analysis of the three genes studied (p = 0.035). DISCUSSION: Cell resistance to drugs is a determinant of the response to chemotherapy and its detection via RT-PCR may be of clinical importance. CONCLUSIONS: Evaluation of the expression of genes for resistance to antineoplastic drugs in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia upon diagnosis, and particularly the expression of the LRP gene, may be of clinical relevance, and should be the object of prospective studies.

Keywords : Drug resistance; Cancer; Children; Leukemia; Acute lymphocytic leukemia; Genes.

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