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J Natl Cancer Inst. 1991 May 15;83(10):708-12.

MDR1 gene expression and treatment outcome in acute myeloid leukemia.

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First Medical Clinic, University of Vienna, Austria.


To prospectively assess the role of MDR1 gene expression in patients with de novo acute myeloid leukemia (AML), levels of MDR1 RNA in blast cells were determined at diagnosis and correlated with treatment outcome in 63 patients. MDR1 RNA levels were negative in 29% and positive in 71% of the patients. The complete remission rate in response to induction chemotherapy was 89% for MDR1 RNA-negative patients and 53% for MDR1 RNA-positive patients (P = .008). Expression of the MDR1 gene was observed in most patients who died early or had resistant disease. Kaplan-Meier curves revealed a decrease in both disease-free survival and overall survival of patients with detectable MDR1 gene expression compared with the disease-free survival and overall survival of MDR1 RNA-negative patients (P = .029 and P = .009, respectively). These data indicate that MDR1 gene expression is an unfavorable prognostic factor and suggest that multidrug resistance is important in AML.

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