Deakin University

File(s) not publicly available

Molecular analysis of transient cytogenetic relapse after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation for chronic myeloid leukaemia

journal contribution
posted on 1996-12-01, 00:00 authored by F Lin, M A Kirkland, F V van Rhee, A Chase, S Coulthard, J Bungey, J M Goldman, N C Cross
Serial quantification of residual disease in CML patients after allogeneic BMT is useful for early detection of relapse. However, the fact that some cytogenetic relapses appear to be transient may complicate protocols for early therapeutic intervention based on molecular analysis and could result in the unnecessary treatment of some patients. To determine the frequency and significance of transient cytogenetic relapse, we have studied serial samples from 98 CML patients after allogeneic BMT by conventional cytogenetics and competitive RT-PCR for BCR-ABL mRNA. During the period of study, 26 patients had cytogenetic or haematologic evidence or relapse. In four cases (15% of those who relapsed; 4% of all patients) relapse appeared to be transient; i.e., subsequent marrow samples were completely Ph chromosome-negative despite the fact that there had been no change in treatment, including the level of immunosuppression. BCR-ABL mRNA levels broadly paralleled the cytogenetic findings. Of these four patients, two subsequently progressed to frank haematologic relapse and two remained strongly positive for BCR-ABL transcripts and are therefore presumably still at risk of relapse. Analysis of B cell-enriched, T cell-enriched and lymphoid-depleted fractions for three patients demonstrated that transient relapse was not due to the proliferations of BCR-ABL-positive lymphoid cells. In contrast, BCR-ABL-positive myeloid precursor cells were detected in two of three patients tested. We conclude that transient cytogenetic relapse followed by sustained remission is a relatively infrequent occurrence after current allogeneic transplant regimens.



Bone marrow transplantation






1147 - 1152


Nature Publishing Group


London, Eng.







Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

1996, Nature Publishing Group