Analysis of the BCR-ABL protein in Philadelphia chromosome-positive adult acute lymphocytic leukemia

A. W. Bseiso, H. M. Kantarjian, J. Q. Guo, J. Cortes, M. Talpaz, C. Koller, M. AlBitar, M. Keating, R. Arlinghaus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Philadelphia chromosome (Ph)-positive acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) constitutes 15-35% of all ALL in adults. Its detection is prognostically significant. The Ph abnormality is usually detected through standard cytogenetic analysis but 20-30% of patients have insufficient metaphases (IM) with such analysis. To detect the BCR-ABL oncoprotein in peripheral blood specimen of patients with ALL at the time of diagnosis and at follow-up, a new sensitive technique of enhanced chemiluminescence Western blot (ECL-WB) analysis was investigated. Among 41 patients with newly diagnosed ALL, nine were Ph positive by cytogenetic studies; they were also BCR-ABL positive according to ECL-WB. Eight had p190 disease, and one had p210 disease. Among the 16 patients with IM, none demonstrated the oncoprotein through ECL-WB or through simultaneous Southern blot (SB) for p210 rearrangement. Follow-up studies were available for seven patients: four had detectable protein and three of them relapsed 4-20 weeks later; three had undetectable protein and one of them (who had low level protein at the time of diagnosis) relapsed 11 weeks later. Although none of the patients with IM at diagnosis had detectable protein according to ECL-WB, this was probably due to the small number of patients studied. One patient with IM studied at follow-up demonstrated the protein by ECL-WB. In summary, we describe a technique that is useful in the detection of p190/p210 ALL at diagnosis. It is less time consuming, and more cost effective than standard chromosome banding techniques. It may also detect the oncoprotein in cases with IM. Although a larger number of patients should be studied to prove its clinical usefulness, this technique may also be of value for monitoring residual disease at follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1583-1587
Number of pages5
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia
  • Philadelphia chromosome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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