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Cancer. 2007 Oct 1;110(7):1509-19.

The prognosis for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia who have clonal cytogenetic abnormalities in philadelphia chromosome-negative cells.

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Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute, Portland, Oregon 97239, USA.



Clonal cytogenetic abnormalities (CCA) were detected in Philadelphia chromosome (Ph)-negative cells in some patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) who attained a cytogenetic response to imatinib mesylate. In some patients, CCA/Ph-negative status was associated with myelodysplasia or acute myeloid leukemia. The objective of the current study was to determine the prognostic impact of CCA/Ph-negative cells.


The authors compared the pretherapeutic risk factors (Kruskall-Wallis test), exposure to cytotoxic drugs (chi-square test), and overall and progression-free survival (Kaplan-Meyer and logistic regression analysis, respectively) of 515 patients with mostly chronic-phase CML who were treated with imatinib mesylate after failure of interferon-alpha according to whether they attained a major cytogenetic response (MCR) (n = 324 patients), an MCR with CCA/Ph-negative status (n = 30 patients), or no MCR (n = 161 patients).


CCA/Ph-negative status most frequently involved chromosomes Y, 8, and 7. No significant differences in pretherapeutic risk factors were detected between patients who attained an MCR with and without CCA/Ph-negative cells, except that exposure to alkylating agents was more frequent in patients with CCA/Ph-negative cells, and overall and progression-free survival were identical. With a median follow-up of 51 months, only 2 patients developed myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).


The overall prognosis for patients who had CML with CCA/Ph-negative status was good and was driven by the CML response to imatinib mesylate. Isolated CCA/Ph-negative cells in the absence of morphologic evidence of MDS do not justify a change in therapy.

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