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Leukemia. 2006 Sep;20(9):1610-7. Epub 2006 Jul 6.

Deletion of chromosome 13 detected by conventional cytogenetics is a critical prognostic factor in myeloma.

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Leukaemia Research Fund UK Myeloma Forum Cytogenetics Group, Human Genetics Division, University of Southampton, Wessex Regional Genetics Laboratory, Salisbury District Hospital, Salisbury, Wilts, UK.


In myeloma, the prognostic impact of different strategies used to detect chromosome 13 deletion (Delta13) remains controversial. To address this, we compared conventional cytogenetics and interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization (iFISH) in a large multicenter study (n=794). The ability to obtain abnormal metaphases was associated with a poor prognosis, which was worse if Delta13, p53 deletion or t(4;14) was present, but only Delta13 remained significant on multivariate analysis. Patients with Delta13, by either cytogenetics or iFISH, had a poor prognosis. However, when cases with Delta13 detectable by both cytogenetics and iFISH were separated from those detected by iFISH only, the poor prognosis of iFISH-detectable Delta13 disappeared; their outcome matched that of patients with no detectable Delta13 (P=0.115). Addition of ploidy status to iFISH-Delta13 did not affect the prognostic value of the test. Indeed both cytogenetics and iFISH Delta13 divided both hyperdiploidy and nonhyperdiploidy into two groups with similar prognoses, indicating that the poor prognosis of ploidy is entirely due to its association with Delta13. We conclude that Delta13 detected by metaphase analysis is a critical prognostic factor in myeloma. Absence of Delta13, even in those patients yielding only normal or no metaphases, is associated with a relatively good prognosis.

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