Soluble CD138 serum levels are not associated with other poor prognostic markers in patients with B-chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
ABSTRACT The clinical course of CLL is highly variable, and survival from the time of diagnosis of CLL can range from months to decades. Novel biological markers such as IgVH mutation, CD38, and ZAP-70 expression have shown to offer important prognostic informations. Few reports deal with the sCD138 levels and bad prognostic factors in patients with CLL, and contrasting data are reported in literature. In our study, we evaluated the serum level of sCD138 in patients with B-CLL and its relationship with other prognostic markers. There was a significant association between advanced Rai stage and serum sCD138 levels in CLL subjects. Patients with Rai stage III-IV had significantly higher levels of sCD138 with respect to controls (48.85±34 ng/ml vs. 31.1±19.34 ng/ml; P<0.05). We were unable to demonstrate a significant association between sCD138 serum levels and IgVH gene status, ZAP-70 expression, CD38 expression, beta-2 microglobulin, absolute peripheral blood lymphocytosis, haemoglobin or LDH levels. Our finding that high sCD138 serum levels correlates with advanced stages in patients with B-CLL is consistent with the possibility molecule can identify patients with high tumour burden, but the lack of correlation between sCD138 serum levels and markers such the mutation status of IgVH, ZAP-70, and CD38 suggests that sCD138 levels only reflect the clinical stage of disease than the clinical course or progression.