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Vet Clin Pathol. 2012 Sep;41(3):362-368. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-165X.2012.00450.x. Epub 2012 Jun 29.

Acute myeloblastic leukemia with associated BCR-ABL translocation in a dog.

Author information

Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.
Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA.
Center for Comparative Medicine and Translational Research, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA.
Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC, USA.
Contributed equally


An 8-year-old male neutered Labrador Retriever was referred to the University of Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital with a presumptive diagnosis of leukemia. Hematologic abnormalities included normal neutrophil count with a left shift, monocytosis, eosinophilia, thrombocytopenia, and circulating immature mononuclear cells. Bone marrow was effaced by immature hematopoietic cells of various morphologic appearances. In addition, large multinucleated cells were observed frequently. Flow cytometric analysis of nucleated cells in blood revealed 34% CD34(+) cells, consistent with acute leukemia. By immunocytochemical analysis of cells in blood and bone marrow, some mononuclear cells expressed CD18, myeloperoxidase, and CD11b, indicating myeloid origin; some, but not all, large multinucleated cells expressed CD117 and CD42b, the latter supporting megakaryocytic lineage. The diagnosis was acute myeloblastic leukemia without maturation (AML-M1). To identify genetic aberrations associated with this malignancy, cells from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded bone marrow were analyzed cytogenetically by multicolor fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Co-localization of bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) containing BCR and ABL was evident in 32% of cells. This confirmed the presence of the canine BCR-ABL translocation or Raleigh chromosome. In people, the analogous translocation or Philadelphia chromosome is characteristic of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and is rarely reported in AML. BCR-ABL translocation also has been identified in dogs with CML; however, to our knowledge this is the first report of AML with a BCR-ABL translocation in a domestic animal.

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