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Leukemia. 1999 Nov;13(11):1770-5.

Detection of cytogenetic aberrations both in CD90 (Thy-1)-positive and (Thy-1)-negative stem cell (CD34) subfractions of patients with acute and chronic myeloid leukemias.

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Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus, Medizinische Klinik I, Dresden, Germany.


Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) are thought to arise from malignant hematopoietic progenitor cells representing early and undifferentiated stem cell clones. In CML there is evidence for a progenitor cell subset free of leukemic clones, depending on the course of the disease. Additionally, it has been suggested that in AML, the early stem cell compartment (CD34+/90+) does not harbor the malignant clone. We analyzed white blood cells from leukemia patients for the presence of aberrant cells in stem cell subfractions. Sixteen patients with CML, six patients with AML, two patients with acute lymphatic leukemia (ALL) and one with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMMOL), all with known cytogenetic abnormalities, were evaluated according to their CD90 (Thy-1)-positive or -negative phenotype. Subsets were sorted on to slides and further characterized by FISH and/or standard cytogenetic testing. The bcr-abl translocation or gross chromosomal abnormalities could be detected in equally high amounts of 92.2% and 89.2% in both stem cell subsets. We conclude, that in progressed AML and CML cells characterized by specific genetic aberrations implicated in the malignant state can be found in the CD34+/CD90+ and CD90- population, thus making CD90 an inappropriate marker to distinguish benign from malignant cells in these leukemias.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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