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Exp Mol Pathol. 2007 Dec;83(3):471-3. Epub 2007 Sep 7.

Aberrant myeloid marker expression in precursor B-cell and T-cell leukemias.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, 2500 North State Street, Jackson, MS 39216, USA.


The World Health Organization (WHO) characterization of the immunophenotype of precursor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (pre-B ALL) includes the possible expression of myeloid cluster of differentiation (CD) markers CD13 and CD33. In precursor T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (pre-T ALL), myeloid markers CD13 and CD33 are frequent while CD117 is rare. In the present investigation, 71 cases of confirmed pre-B ALL were evaluated for the presence of CD13 and CD33. Of the 19 (27%) cases that positively expressed myeloid markers, 10 (53%) expressed CD13, 17 (89%) expressed CD33, and 1 (5%) expressed CD117. Eight (42%) expressed both CD13 and CD33, and 1 (5%) expressed CD13, CD33, and CD117. Twenty-one cases of confirmed pre-T ALL were analyzed for myeloid markers CD13, CD33, CD117, and MPO. Of the 6 (29%) expressing myeloid markers, 4 (67%) were positive for CD13, 4 (67%) for CD33, 3 50(%) for CD117, and 1 (17%) for MPO. One (17%) was positive for both CD13 and CD117; one (17%) for CD13 and CD33; one (17%) for CD13, CD33 and CD117; and one (17%) for CD13, CD33 and MPO. These markers portend a poor prognosis compared to ALL cases without myeloid antigens, and a poor response to drug therapies targeting conventional ALL. Future studies will be directed to correlation of these markers with prognosis and therapeutic response, as well as whether drug therapies targeting myeloid antigens could be of use in treatment.

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