Expression of CD25 (interleukin-2 receptor alpha chain) in adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia predicts for the presence of BCR/ABL fusion transcripts: results of a preliminary laboratory analysis of ECOG/MRC Intergroup Study E2993. Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group/Medical Research Council

Leukemia. 1997 Nov;11(11):1887-90. doi: 10.1038/sj.leu.2400836.


Of 144 adult Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) entered on study E2993 at the time of analysis, 104 had informative immunophenotypes and molecular analysis by polymerase chain reaction for BCR/ABL fusion transcripts. In 23 patients (22%), BCR/ABL transcripts were detected: the ALL-typical e1a2 alone in 12, e1a2 + b2a2/b3a2 in five, and b2a2 and/or b3a2 in six. Of BCR/ABL-positive patients, 83% had early pre-B ALL, one patient had pre-T ALL, while half of the BCR/ABL-negative patients had early pre-B ALL, 18% had CD10-negative pro-B ALL and 21% were pre-T. When antibodies to both the interleukin-2 receptor alpha (CD25) and beta chain (CD122) were tested, CD25 was expressed significantly more frequently in BCR/ABL-positive (median 23% positive blast cells, range 1-84%) than BCR/ABL-negative patients (median 3%, range 0-69%) (P = 0.00006). There was no corelation with CD122 expression. Therefore, CD25 expression may serve as a surrogate marker for BCR/ABL positivity (Philadelphia chromosome), the major poor prognostic parameter in adult ALL.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Flow Cytometry / methods
  • Fusion Proteins, bcr-abl / genetics
  • Fusion Proteins, bcr-abl / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Philadelphia Chromosome
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / genetics
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / genetics
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Fusion Proteins, bcr-abl