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Hematology. 2017 Jun;22(5):286-291. doi: 10.1080/10245332.2016.1265780. Epub 2016 Dec 14.

Clinical significance of the ABCB1 and ABCG2 gene expression levels in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

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a Laboratorio de Biología Molecular , Servicio de Hematología, Hospital General de México, "Dr. Eduardo Liceaga" , Ciudad de México , Mexico.
b Servicio de Hematología. Hospital General de México "Dr. Eduardo Liceaga" , Ciudad de México , Mexico.
c Laboratorio de Immunogenómica y Enfermedades Metabólicas , Instituto Nacional de Medicina Genómica , Secretaria de Salud, Ciudad de México , Mexico.
d Departamento de Genética y Biología Molecular , Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CINVESTAV) , Ciudad de México , Mexico.
e Oncología Médica Novartis, Novartis Farmacéutica SA , Ciudad de México , Mexico.



Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a clonal disease that accounts for 20% of acute leukemias in adults. A high percentage of adult patients (ranging from 70 to 80%) reach complete remission; however, the 5-year survival rate is only 20-40%. One of the main obstacles to treatment success is the drug resistance of leukemic cells. Therefore, our research group analyzed the ABCB1 and ABCG2 gene expression levels in 61 patients diagnosed with ALL and assessed whether the levels affected the clinical parameters and 40-month survival rate.


The ABCB1 and ABCG2 gene expression levels were analyzed using real-time polymerase chain reaction in 61 patients diagnosed with ALL and 99 healthy donors as controls. The association between ABCB1 and ABCG2 gene expression levels and clinical variables was determined using the Chi-square test and Fisher's exact test. Overall survival (OS) was determined using the Kaplan-Meier method.


The results showed high ABCB1 and ABCG2 gene levels, which were 4.5 and 2.3 times the levels of healthy donors, respectively. A total of 52% of the study patients expressed high ABCB1 levels and were significantly associated with the high-risk patient group and a decreased 40-month survival rate of 78%. Only 49% of the patients expressed high ABCG2 gene levels. No association was found between the clinical parameters and the ABCG2 gene expression levels.


Early detection of ABCB1 gene expression levels could be important for the diagnosis and monitoring of ALL patients.


ABCB1; ABCG2; acute lymphoblastic leukemia

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