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Cancer. 2011 Mar 15;117(6):1245-52. doi: 10.1002/cncr.25678. Epub 2010 Nov 2.

Peripheral blood monitoring of chronic myeloid leukemia during treatment with imatinib, second-line agents, and beyond.

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Department of Hematology and Medial Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine and Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.



The current study was conducted to compare simultaneously obtained bone marrow (BM) cytogenetics (CTG), peripheral blood (PB) and BM fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR) for BCR-ABL1 in monitoring response to treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors and homoharringtonine (HHT) in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).


PB and BM FISH (n = 112 samples) and/or Q-PCR (n = 132 samples) for BCR-ABL1 were simultaneously obtained in 70 patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) CML in chronic (68%), accelerated (16%), and blast phase (16%) before the initiation of therapy and during the course of treatment with imatinib (IM) (n = 40 patients), dasatinib (n = 20 patients), nilotinib (n = 4 patients), bosutinib (n = 18 patients), or HHT (n = 4 patients) for patients with newly diagnosed (n = 13 patients), IM-sensitive (n = 34 patients), IM-resistant (n = 30 patients), or IM-intolerant (n = 9 patients) disease. Eighteen patients were found to have Ph+ variants or karyotypic abnormalities in addition to the Ph+.


Excellent correlations (r) were observed between PB and BM FISH (r = 0.95) and PB and BM Q-PCR (r = 0.87), as well as BM CTG and PB FISH (r = 0.89) and PB Q-PCR (r = 0.82). This correlation was not affected by the presence of the Ph+ variant or additional chromosomal abnormalities, the presence of ABL1 kinase domain mutations, phase of the disease, or treatment.


PB FISH and Q-PCR appear to be reliable methods with which to monitor response to modern therapy in patients with all phases of CML.

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