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Oncotarget. 2019 Dec 10;10(65):6969-6980. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.27356. eCollection 2019 Dec 10.

Flow cytometric significance of cellular alkaline phosphatase activity in acute myeloid leukemia.

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Functional Cytomics Group, Institut de Recerca contra la Leucèmia Josep Carreras, IJC Campus ICO-Germans Trias i Pujol, Institut Germans Trias i Pujol (IGTP), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, UAB, Badalona, Spain.
Institut Català d'Oncologia, Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol (HGTiP), Badalona, Spain.
Thermo Fisher Scientific, Eugene, Oregon, USA.


In this prospective hospital-based cohort study that included 43 newly diagnosed patients with acute myeloid leukemia, flow cytometric cellular alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity within primitive leukemic cells allowed us to identify two groups of patients at diagnosis according to the numbers of leukemic blasts expressing ≥ 12% of ALP+ cells (27 patients, Group A) and less than 12% of ALP+ cells (16 patients, Group B). Differences in outcome for complete response, relapse or treatment resistance, and exitus were statistically analyzed and were significant, when comparing the two groups. The overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) differences between Group A and B were statistically significant. The survival of Group A patients was significantly shorter than those for Group B. No significant relationship was detected in outcome when comparing ELN prognostic-risk group based on cytogenetic and molecular profile (patients in the favorable, intermediate, and adverse risk groups). Flow cytometric cellular ALP activity at diagnosis may be used to estimate relapses and disease persistence more accurately. The limitations of our study include the small number of patients enrolled and a short follow-up, due to its prospective nature.


CD34; acute myeloid leukemia; alkaline phosphatase; leukemic stem cells; stem cells

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST M.D.W. and J.A.B. work for Thermo Fisher Scientific, which is in the business of selling flow cytometers and flow cytometry reagents.

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