Expression of myeloid markers lacks prognostic impact in children treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia: Italian experience in AIEOP-ALL 88-91 studies

Blood. 1998 Aug 1;92(3):795-801.


The importance of coexpression of myeloid antigens in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has long been debated; results are conflicting. We studied children with ALL treated at Italian Association for Pediatric Hematology-Oncology (AIEOP) institutions over 6 years with Berlin-Frankfurt-Muenster (BFM)-based protocols and have analyzed the incidence of coexpression of six MyAg (CD11b, CD13, CD14, CD15, CD33, CD65w) to determine its prognostic impact. Criteria for MyAg coexpression (MyAg+ALL) included positivity to one or more MyAg on at least 20% of blasts and confirmation of coexpression at double-fluorescence analysis. A total of 291 of 908 cases were MyAg+ALL (32%). Incidence was similar in B-ALL and T-ALL; among common, pre-B, and pre-pre-B-ALL. CD13 and CD33 were most common. Patients with MyAg+ALL had presenting features similar to MyAg-ALL. They entered standard or intermediate risk protocols more frequently and had better prednisone response, but similar complete remission rates. Six-year event-free survival (EFS) was 69.0% in 291 MyAg+ALL cases and 65.3% in 617 MyAg-ALL cases, without significant difference. Cases expressing two or more MyAg presented similar clinical features and treatment response. MyAg+ALL had worse EFS only in infants (0% v 47%) (P = .01). Therefore, in this series of homogeneously diagnosed and treated ALL, coexpression of MyAg was not associated with prognostic significance, without relevance for clinical purposes or for patient stratification, except for infants.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD / analysis*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Bone Marrow / chemistry*
  • Bone Marrow / pathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cranial Irradiation
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Infant
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Proteins / analysis*
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / chemistry
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / pathology
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / drug therapy
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / metabolism
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / mortality*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / radiotherapy
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Remission Induction
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antigens, CD
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Neoplasm Proteins