Approaches for cytogenetic and molecular analyses of small flow-sorted cell populations from childhood leukemia bone marrow samples
ABSTRACT Discordances between minimal residual disease estimates obtained by different methods are a problem in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. We aimed to optimize methods allowing the biological exploration of such discrepancies, i.e. the combination of flow-sorting of small immunophenotypically defined cell populations with subsequent analyses of leukemia-associated cytogenetic and molecular marker. The approaches described here optimize the use of the same tube of unfixed, antibody-stained BM cells for flow-sorting of small cell populations and subsequent exploratory FISH and PCR-based analyses.
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ABSTRACT: Reduction in minimal residual disease, measured by real-time quantitative PCR or flow cytometry, predicts prognosis in childhood B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia. We explored whether cells reported as minimal residual disease by flow cytometry represent the malignant clone harboring clone-specific genomic markers (53 follow-up bone marrow samples from 28 children with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia). Cell populations (presumed leukemic and non-leukemic) were flow-sorted during standard flow cytometry-based minimal residual disease monitoring and explored by PCR and/or fluorescence in situ hybridization. We found good concordance between flow cytometry and genomic analyses in the individual flow-sorted leukemic (93% true positive) and normal (93% true negative) cell populations. Four cases with discrepant results had plausible explanations (e.g. partly informative immunophenotype and antigen modulation) that highlight important methodological pitfalls. These findings demonstrate that with sufficient experience, flow cytometry is reliable for minimal residual disease monitoring in B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia, although rare cases require supplementary PCR-based monitoring.Haematologica 09/2011; 97(1):137-41. DOI:10.3324/haematol.2011.051383 · 5.87 Impact Factor