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Philadelphia-negative chronic myelogenous leukemia with breakpoint cluster region rearrangement: molecular analysis, clinical characteristics, and response to therapy

, : Philadelphia-negative chronic myelogenous leukemia with breakpoint cluster region rearrangement: molecular analysis, clinical characteristics, and response to therapy. Journal of Clinical Oncology 6(10): 1569-1575

We have detected rearrangement in the breakpoint cluster region (bcr) on chromosome 22 in cells derived from seven chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) patients who had no cytogenetic evidence of a chromosome abnormality. These Philadelphia (Ph)-negative, bcr rearrangement-positive CML patients had clinical features and laboratory parameters that bore a strong resemblance to those of Ph-positive CML; all patients have shown a favorable response to hydroxyurea, busulphan, or alpha interferon (IFN-alpha) therapy. In one patient, because of the deletion of distal 3' sequences, detection of bcr rearrangement required a large probe that recognized proximal 5' sequences. Cells obtained from five patients were studied by Northern blotting and showed an aberrant 8 kilobase (kb) mRNA indistinguishable from the bcr-abl transcript that is felt to be a pathogenetic factor in Ph-positive CML. In three patients with a normal karyotype, bcr rearrangement was detected at the time of hematologic remission, and represented the only evidence for persistent malignancy. Our results suggest that: (1) the presence of bcr rearrangement in CML is associated with clinical features of Ph-positive disease, even in the absence of the Ph chromosome; (2) deletions occur within bcr and necessitate the use of probes covering both 5' and 3' DNA segments for accurate diagnosis; (3) molecular analysis may provide a useful approach to the follow-up of leukemia therapy in some patients; and (4) these patients respond to hydroxyurea, busulphan, and IFN-alpha therapy.


PMID: 3171624

DOI: 10.1200/jco.1988.6.10.1569

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