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Int J Hematol. 2007 Aug;86(2):166-73.

Expression of multidrug resistance 1 (MDR1), multidrug resistance-related protein 1 (MRP1), lung resistance protein (LRP), and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) genes and clinical outcome in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

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Second Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology-Oncology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.


The aim of this prospective study was to analyze the expression of messenger RNA of genes, such as MDR1, MRP1, BCRP, and LRP, implicated in the mechanism of multidrug resistance (MDR) in relation to the response to induction chemotherapy and relapse and these genes' correlation with each other and with pretreatment laboratory and clinical characteristics. We prospectively studied 49 children (26 boys and 23 girls) with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) (median age, 5.5 years; range, 15 months to 12.5 years) who were treated with the BFM95 chemotherapy protocol. We used bone marrow mononuclear cells from 7 healthy children as controls. The expression of MDR genes and the beta-actin housekeeping gene was detected by the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction with the appropriate primers. The mean expression of each MDR gene was significantly higher in the patients than in the control group (P < .01). We found statistically significant correlations between MRP1 and LRP expression and between MRP1 or LRP expression and MDR1 expression (P < .05). High expression for the MDR1 gene was found in 18 patients (36.7%), and their prognoses were significantly worse than those with low expression (event-free survival, 55.56% versus 86.67%; P = .03, log-rank test). Expression of each of the MDR genes was independent of the initial white blood cell count, immunophenotype, National Cancer Institute risk classification, and prednisone response. Interestingly, MDR1 expression was significantly higher at relapse than at diagnosis for 4 sample pairs. Evaluation of MDR1 expression at diagnosis of childhood ALL may contribute to the early identification of patients at risk of treatment failure.

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