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Leukemia. 1990 Aug;4(8):541-7.

Expression of bcr-abl fusion transcripts following bone marrow transplantation for Philadelphia chromosome-positive leukemia.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, California.


A modified polymerase chain reaction (PCR) procedure was used to study the expression of bcr-abl fusion transcripts following allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) for Philadelphia chromosome (Ph1) positive acute and chronic leukemias. The technique was applied to RNA preparations of peripheral blood and bone marrow cells from 10 patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and one patient with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), all of whom had undergone allogenic BMT and were in clinical and cytogenetic remission. Pre-BMT samples available for eight of 11 patients contained detectable bcr-abl fusion products serving as a baseline for comparison to post-BMT studies. Six patients showed no PCR-detectable bcr-abl transcripts in each of several serial analyses post-BMT (1-36 months post-BMT). The remaining five patients demonstrated various patterns of bcr-abl transcript expression after transplantation. In three patients, bcr-abl transcripts persisted for up to 3 months post-BMT but subsequently were undetectable. Molecular relapse was observed 3 and 6 months post-BMT in the remaining two patients whose earlier post-BMT samples showed no bcr-abl fusion transcripts. No bcr-abl transcripts were detected in subsequent samples from both of these patients 6 months and 1 year post-BMT, respectively. These data confirm that Ph1 carrying cells expressing the bcr-abl fusion mRNA may persist or recur for several months following BMT in the absence of clinical and cytogenetic relapse. The significance of these observations is discussed with respect to results reported recently by others using similar techniques.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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