Proposals for the immunological classification of acute leukemias. European Group for the Immunological Characterization of Leukemias (EGIL)

Leukemia. 1995 Oct;9(10):1783-6.


Criteria for the immunological classification of acute leukemias are proposed by a recently established European group designated EGIL. The main aims of EGIL are to establish guidelines for the characterization of acute leukemias based on marker expression and provide a uniform basis for the diagnosis of the various types of these hemopoietic malignancies which should be helpful for future multinational clinical and laboratory investigations. Within the two major types (B and T cell lineage) of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), several groups are delineated according to the degree of cell differentiation. Within the acute myeloid leukemias (AML), only three subtypes as defined by the FAB classification: M0-AML, M6-AML and M7-AML, can be unequivocally defined by immunological markers; prospective studies are undertaken to see whether characteristic immunological profiles are associated with particular AML subtypes defined by specific cytogenetic abnormalities. Criteria for the definition of biphenotypic acute leukemia (BAL) are devised and a scoring system is outlined aimed to distinguish BAL from those acute leukemias with expression of a marker from another lineage. In addition, an uncommon subset of acute leukemias with no evidence of lymphoid or myeloid differentiation is recognized and the useful panel of markers to investigate and establish the cell nature of the acute leukemias is outlined. EGIL will focus in the future on testing the reproducibility of the proposed guidelines, particularly those for BAL, assessing their clinical value within a framework of multicentric trials and setting up uniform methodological criteria.

Publication types

  • Congress
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Leukemia, B-Cell / classification
  • Leukemia, Myeloid / classification*
  • Leukemia, T-Cell / classification
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / classification*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / immunology


  • Biomarkers, Tumor