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Leuk Res. 1997 Jun;21(6):479-89.

Bcl-2 and c-myc expression, cell cycle kinetics and apoptosis during the progression of chronic myelogenous leukemia from diagnosis to blastic phase.

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Rush Cancer Institute, Rush Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) has a progressive course but little is known about the biologic characteristics of disease progression. This study was designed to assess the changes in cell proliferative characteristics, apoptosis, the expression of the bcl-2 and c-myc genes between the time of initial diagnosis and entrance into the blastic phase of the disease. We observed that the rate of cell proliferation decreased and the cell death rate did not significantly change as the disease accelerated. The level of bcl-2 expression was significantly higher in accelerated/blastic phase cells than in the chronic phase cells in the population as a whole, however, the bcl-2 expression level did not change in blast cell subpopulation. c-myc Expression was significantly higher in the blast cell subpopulation of accelerated/blastic phase than in that of earlier phases of the disease. In conclusion, the characteristics of CML cells, namely proliferation rate, c-myc and bcl-2 change during the course of the disease. It is possible that the change in c-myc expression plays a causative role in evolution of the blastic phase from the chronic phase.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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