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Br J Haematol. 2000 Jul;110(1):139-46.

Regenerating normal B-cell precursors during and after treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia: implications for monitoring of minimal residual disease.

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Dutch Childhood Leukaemia Study Group, The Hague, The Netherlands.


We studied 57 childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) patients who remained in continuous complete remission after treatment according to the Dutch Childhood Leukaemia Study Group ALL-8 protocols. The patients were monitored at 18 time points during and after treatment [640 bone marrow (BM) and 600 blood samples] by use of cytomorphology and immunophenotyping for the expression of TdT, CD34, CD10 and CD19. Additionally, 60 BM follow-up samples from six patients were subjected to clonality assessment via heteroduplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of immunoglobulin VH-JH gene rearrangements. We observed substantial expansions of normal precursor B cells in regenerating BM not only after maintenance therapy but also during treatment. At the end of the 2-week intervals after consolidation and reinduction treatment, B-cell-lineage regeneration was observed in BM with a large fraction of immature CD34+/TdT+ B cells. In contrast, in regenerating BM after cessation of maintenance treatment, the more mature CD19+/CD10+ B cells were significantly increased, but the fraction of immature CD34+/TdT+ B cells was essentially smaller. Blood samples showed a profound B-cell lymphopenia during treatment followed by a rapid normalization of blood B cells after treatment, with a substantial CD10+ fraction (10-30%). Heteroduplex PCR analysis confirmed the polyclonal origin of the expanded precursor B cells in regenerating BM. This information regarding the regeneration of BM is essential for the correct interpretation of minimal residual disease studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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