Recent advances in the immunologic classification of leukemia

Semin Hematol. 1986 Oct;23(4):257-83.


Important insights into leukocyte differentiation and the cellular origins of leukemia have been gained through the use of monoclonal antibodies that define cell surface antigens and molecular probes that identify immunoglobulin and T cell receptor genes. Results of these studies have been combined with markers such as surface membrane and cytoplasmic immunoglobulin on B lymphocytes, sheep erythrocyte receptors on T lymphocytes, and cytochemical stains. Using all of the above markers, it is now clear that acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is heterogeneous. Although monoclonal antibodies are useful in distinguishing acute myeloid from acute lymphoid leukemias, they have less certain usefulness in the subclassification of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Attempts to subclassify AML by differentiation-associated antigens rather than by the French-American-British (FAB) classification are underway in order to document the potential prognostic usefulness of surface markers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm / immunology
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Antigens, Surface / analysis
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / genetics
  • Indoles / analysis
  • Leukemia / classification*
  • Leukemia / immunology
  • Lymphoma / classification
  • Lymphoma / immunology
  • Phenotype
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Antigens, Surface
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Indoles
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • 5-bromo-4-chloroindoxyl acetate