[Minimal residual disease monitoring by flow cytometry in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia].Klin Lab Diagn. 2010 AugKL
The cells that have avoided the action of antitumor drugs may be retained after remission achievement during induction therapy and consolidation. A combination of these cells is given the name minimal residual disease (MRD). Multicolor flow cytometry has recently attracted considerable interest as the most promising method for measuring the content of residual tumor blasts. This technique is based on the detection of the so-called leukemia-associated immunophenotype (LAIP), i.e., a tumor-specific combination of the expression of membrane and cytoplasmic markers. Flow cytometry may be successfully used to monitor MRD in 90-95% cases of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and in 80-85% of patients with acute myelocytic leukemia. The sensitivity of flow cytometry, which is real for routine flow techniques, is a possibility of identifying one cell among 10(4)-10(5) cells. Multicolor flow cytometry (that involves the simultaneous analysis of the expression of a few markers) is the most reasonable tool for MRD monitoring. The monoclonal antibody panels recommended by different groups of investigators for MRD monitoring in B-lineage ALL include antibodies to the pan-B-cell antigen CD19, markers of different stages of differentiation of B-lineage precursors of CD10, CD34, and CD20 and leukemia-associated markers different for each panel, such as CD22, CD38, CD58, CD45, TdT, CD13, CD33. The hyperexpression of CD10, CD34, CD19, TdT, the decreased expression of CD38, CD45, CD22, CD19, the simultaneous expression of markers of different stages of differentiation of B lymphocytes, such as CD10 and CD20, and the lymphoblast coexpression of myeloid markers of CD13, CD33, CDS15 are the most frequently described immunophenotype aberrations in B-lineage ALL. The selection of combinations of markers for MRD monitoring in children with T-ALL is based on the simultaneous expression of combinations of the antigens characteristic for early stages of differentiation of normal T lymphocytes, namely TdT and cytoplasmic CD3. Some authors consider the use of CD99 versus TdT to be most appropriate. There is recent evidence that MRD-positive patients have a higher cumulative risk for recurrences as compared with those without residual blasts. Moreover, the longer the tumor cells are retained during therapy, the worse the prognosis is. Thus, for choice of the adequate intensity of antitumor therapy, it is necessary to qualitatively and quantitatively assess MRD by multicolor flow cytometry at different stages of therapy.