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Int J Lab Hematol. 2011 Feb;33(1):92-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-553X.2010.01254.x.

CD66c expression in B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia: strength and weakness.

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Laboratoire d'Hématologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Amiens, France.



In B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL), testing at diagnosis for BCR/ABL1 gene rearrangements is mandatory for prognostic stratification and treatment decisions. Several diagnostic methods have been proposed using flow cytometry to identify BCR/ABL1(+) B-ALL.


We evaluated expression of the myeloid antigen CD66c by flow cytometry in B-ALL. We studied 94 patients with B-ALL. The t(9;22)(q34;q11) or BCR/ABL1 rearrangement was detected by cytogenetic analysis or RT/PCR. Myeloid antigens CD66c, CD13, CD33, CD117, Myeloperoxidase, CD15 and CD65 were determined by flow cytometry.


Of these 94 cases, 17 (18%) cases displayed BCR/ABL1 gene rearrangements and 38 (40%) cases were CD66c positive. CD66c was the most common myeloid antigen expressed on malignant lymphoblasts. Its expression was correlated with BCR/ABL1 rearrangements (P = 0.0001): sensitivity 82%, specificity 69%, positive predictive value 37% and negative predictive value 95%. Co-expression of CD66c(+) CD13(+) was more frequent in BCR/ABL1(+) B-ALL (29%) than BCR/ABL1(-) cases (4%) (P = 0.0044). Some BCR/ABL1(-) B-ALL cases (including hyperdiploid or cases with normal karyotype) were CD66c positive (31%).


CD66c expression is correlated, but not specifically, with BCR/ABL1 rearrangement. It would seem better to interpret the absence of CD66c expression with a lack of BCR/ABL1 rearrangement. This myeloid antigen could be interesting in the detection of minimal residual disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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