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Revista Brasileira de Hematologia e Hemoterapia

Print version ISSN 1516-8484On-line version ISSN 1806-0870


DELBUONO, Elizabete et al. Simplified flow cytometric assay to detect minimal residual disease in childhood with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Rev. Bras. Hematol. Hemoter. [online]. 2008, vol.30, n.4, pp.281-286. ISSN 1516-8484.

The detection of minimal residual disease (MRD) is an important prognostic factor in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) providing crucial information on the response to treatment and risk of relapse. However, the high cost of these techniques restricts their use in countries with limited resources. Thus, we prospectively studied the use of flow cytometry (FC) with a simplified 3-color assay and a limited antibody panel to detect MRD in the bone marrow (BM) and peripheral blood (PB) of children with ALL. BM and PB samples from 40 children with ALL were analyzed on days (d) 14 and 28 during induction and in weeks 24-30 of maintenance therapy. Detectable MRD was defined as > 0.01% cells expressing the aberrant immunophenotype as characterized at diagnosis among total events in the sample. A total of 87% of the patients had an aberrant immunophenotype at diagnosis. On d14, 56% of the BM and 43% of the PB samples had detectable MRD. On d28, this decreased to 45% and 31%, respectively. The percentage of cells with the aberrant phenotype was similar in both BM and PB in T-ALL but about 10 times higher in the BM of patients with B-cell-precursor ALL. Moreover, MRD was detected in the BM of patients in complete morphological remission (44% on d14 and 39% on d28). MRD was not significantly associated to gender, age, initial white blood cell count or cell lineage. This FC assay is feasible, affordable and readily applicable to detect MRD in centers with limited resources.

Keywords : Minimal residual disease; acute lymphoblastic leukemia; flow cytometry; children; peripheral blood.

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