How do tumor markers affect the prognosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)?

Updated: Oct 26, 2020
  • Author: Karen Seiter, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Czuczman et al studied 259 patients treated with several Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) protocols for newly diagnosed ALL and found no significant difference in response rates, remission duration, or survival for patients expressing myeloid antigens versus those not expressing myeloid antigens. [14] B-lineage phenotype was expressed in 79% of patients; one third of these coexpressed myeloid antigens. Seventeen percent of patients demonstrated T-lineage ALL; one quarter of these coexpressed myeloid antigens. [14]

T-lineage ALL was associated with younger age, male sex, presence of a mediastinal mass, higher WBC count and hemoglobin level, longer survival, and longer disease-free survival. The number of T markers expressed also had prognostic significance. Patients expressing six or more markers had longer disease-free and overall survival compared with patients expressing three or fewer markers.

In a report by Preti et al, 64 of 162 patients with newly diagnosed ALL coexpressed myeloid markers. [15] Patients coexpressing myeloid markers were significantly older, had a higher prevalence of CD34 expression, and had a lower prevalence of common ALL antigen expression than patients without myeloid expression. A trend toward a decreased remission rate was observed for patients coexpressing myeloid markers (64%) relative to those who did not coexpress such markers (78%). [15] However, no significant effect on remission duration or overall survival was observed.

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