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Leuk Res. 2012 Aug;36(8):974-81. doi: 10.1016/j.leukres.2012.05.001. Epub 2012 May 23.

Multi-color CD34⁺ progenitor-focused flow cytometric assay in evaluation of myelodysplastic syndromes in patients with post cancer therapy cytopenia.

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Department of Hematopathology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Bone marrow assessment for myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) in a patient who develops cytopenia(s) following cancer therapy is challenging. With recent advances in multi-color flow cytometry immunophenotypic analysis, a CD34(+) progenitor-focused 7-color assay was developed and tested in this clinical setting. This assay was first performed in 73 MDS patients and 53 non-MDS patients (developmental set). A number of immunophenotypic changes were differentially observed in these two groups. Based on the sensitivity, specificity and reproducibility, a core panel of markers was selected for final assessment that included increased total CD34(+) myeloblasts; decreased stage I hematogones; altered CD45/side scatter; altered expression of CD13, CD33, CD34, CD38, CD117, and CD123; aberrant expression of lymphoid or mature myelomonocytic antigens on CD34(+) myeloblasts; and several marked alterations in maturing myelomonocytic cells. The data were translated into a simplified scoring system which was then used in 120 patients with cytopenia(s) secondary to cancer therapy over a 2-year period (validation set). With a median follow-up of 11 months, this assay demonstrated 89% sensitivity, 94% specificity, and 92% accuracy in establishing or excluding a diagnosis of MDS.

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