[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PCR-based immunoglobulin (Ig)/T-cell receptor (TCR) clonality testing in suspected lymphoproliferations has largely been standardized and has consequently become technically feasible in a routine diagnostic setting. Standardization of the pre-analytical and post-analytical phases is now essential to prevent misinterpretation and incorrect conclusions derived from clonality data. As clonality testing is not a quantitative assay, but rather concerns recognition of molecular patterns, guidelines for reliable interpretation and reporting are mandatory. Here, the EuroClonality (BIOMED-2) consortium summarizes important pre- and post-analytical aspects of clonality testing, provides guidelines for interpretation of clonality testing results, and presents a uniform way to report the results of the Ig/TCR assays. Starting from an immunobiological concept, two levels to report Ig/TCR profiles are discerned: the technical description of individual (multiplex) PCR reactions and the overall molecular conclusion for B and T cells. Collectively, the EuroClonality (BIOMED-2) guidelines and consensus reporting system should help to improve the general performance level of clonality assessment and interpretation, which will directly impact on routine clinical management (standardized best-practice) in patients with suspected lymphoproliferations.
Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 08/2012; 26(10):2159-71. DOI:10.1038/leu.2012.246 · 10.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The eradication of minimal residual disease (MRD) in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) predicts for improved outcome. However, the wide variety of MRD techniques makes it difficult to interpret and compare different clinical trials. Our aim was to develop a standardized flow cytometric CLL-MRD assay and compare it to real-time quantitative allele-specific oligonucleotide (RQ-ASO) Immunoglobulin heavy chain gene (IgH) polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Analysis of 728 paired blood and marrow samples demonstrated high concordance (87%) for patients off-therapy. Blood analysis was equally or more sensitive than marrow in 92% of samples but marrow analysis was necessary to detect MRD within 3 months of alemtuzumab therapy. Assessment of 50 CLL-specific antibody combinations identified three (CD5/CD19 with CD20/CD38, CD81/CD22 and CD79b/CD43) with low inter-laboratory variation and false-detection rates. Experienced operators demonstrated an accuracy of 95.7% (specificity 98.8%, sensitivity 91.1%) in 141 samples with 0.01-0.1% CLL. There was close correlation and 95% concordance with RQ-ASO IgH-PCR for detection of CLL above 0.01%. The proposed flow cytometry approach is applicable to all sample types and therapeutic regimes, and sufficiently rapid and sensitive to guide therapy to an MRD-negativity in real time. These techniques may be used as a tool for assessing response and comparing the efficacy of different therapeutic approaches.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assessment of clonal immunoglobulin (Ig) and T-cell receptor (TCR) gene rearrangements is an important diagnostic tool in mature B-cell neoplasms. However, lack of standardized PCR protocols resulting in a high level of false negativity has hampered comparability of data in previous clonality studies. In order to address these problems, 22 European laboratories investigated the Ig/TCR rearrangement patterns as well as t(14;18) and t(11;14) translocations of 369 B-cell malignancies belonging to five WHO-defined entities using the standardized BIOMED-2 multiplex PCR tubes accompanied by international pathology panel review. B-cell clonality was detected by combined use of the IGH and IGK multiplex PCR assays in all 260 definitive cases of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (n=56), mantle cell lymphoma (n=54), marginal zone lymphoma (n=41) and follicular lymphoma (n=109). Two of 109 cases of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma showed no detectable clonal marker. The use of these techniques to assign cell lineage should be treated with caution as additional clonal TCR gene rearrangements were frequently detected in all disease categories. Our study indicates that the BIOMED-2 multiplex PCR assays provide a powerful strategy for clonality assessment in B-cell malignancies resulting in high Ig clonality detection rates particularly when IGH and IGK strategies are combined.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The diagnosis of malignant lymphoma is a recognized difficult area in histopathology. Therefore, detection of clonality in a suspected lymphoproliferation is a valuable diagnostic criterion. We have developed primer sets for the detection of rearrangements in the B- and T-cell receptor genes as reliable tools for clonality assessment in lymphoproliferations suspected for lymphoma. In this issue of Leukemia, the participants of the BIOMED-2 Concerted Action CT98-3936 report on the validation of the newly developed clonality assays in various disease entities. Clonality was detected in 99% of all B-cell malignancies and in 94% of all T-cell malignancies, whereas the great majority of reactive lesions showed polyclonality. The combined BIOMED-2 results are summarized in a guideline, which can now be implemented in routine lymphoma diagnostics. The use of this standardized approach in patients with a suspect lymphoproliferation will result in improved diagnosis of malignant lymphoma.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a European BIOMED-2 collaborative study, multiplex PCR assays have successfully been developed and standardized for the detection of clonally rearranged immunoglobulin (Ig) and T-cell receptor (TCR) genes and the chromosome aberrations t(11;14) and t(14;18). This has resulted in 107 different primers in only 18 multiplex PCR tubes: three VH-JH, two DH-JH, two Ig kappa (IGK), one Ig lambda (IGL), three TCR beta (TCRB), two TCR gamma (TCRG), one TCR delta (TCRD), three BCL1-Ig heavy chain (IGH), and one BCL2-IGH. The PCR products of Ig/TCR genes can be analyzed for clonality assessment by heteroduplex analysis or GeneScanning. The detection rate of clonal rearrangements using the BIOMED-2 primer sets is unprecedentedly high. This is mainly based on the complementarity of the various BIOMED-2 tubes. In particular, combined application of IGH (VH-JH and DH-JH) and IGK tubes can detect virtually all clonal B-cell proliferations, even in B-cell malignancies with high levels of somatic mutations. The contribution of IGL gene rearrangements seems limited. Combined usage of the TCRB and TCRG tubes detects virtually all clonal T-cell populations, whereas the TCRD tube has added value in case of TCRgammadelta(+) T-cell proliferations. The BIOMED-2 multiplex tubes can now be used for diagnostic clonality studies as well as for the identification of PCR targets suitable for the detection of minimal residual disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies have suggested that the level of residual disease at the end of therapy predicts outcome in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). However, available methods for detecting CLL cells are either insensitive or not routinely applicable. A flow cytometric assay was developed that can differentiate CLL cells from normal B cells on the basis of their CD19/CD5/CD20/CD79b expression. The assay is rapid and can detect one CLL cell in 10(4) to 10(5) leukocytes in all patients. We have compared this assay to conventional assessment in 104 patients treated with CAMPATH-1H and/or autologous transplant. During CAMPATH-1H therapy, circulating CLL cells were rapidly depleted in responding patients, but remained detectable in nonresponders. Patients with more than 0.01 x 10(9)/L circulating CLL cells always had significant (> 5%) marrow disease, and blood monitoring could be used to time marrow assessments. In 25 out of 104 patients achieving complete remission by National Cancer Institute (NCI) criteria, the detection of residual bone marrow disease at more than 0.05% of leukocytes in 6 out of 25 patients predicted significantly poorer event-free (P =.0001) and overall survival (P =.007). CLL cells are detectable at a median of 15.8 months (range, 5.5-41.8) posttreatment in 9 out of 18 evaluable patients with less than 0.05% CLL cells at end of treatment. All patients with detectable disease have progressively increasing disease levels on follow-up. The use of sensitive techniques, such as the flow assay described here, allow accurate quantitation of disease levels and provide an accurate method for guiding therapy and predicting outcome. These results suggest that the eradication of detectable disease may lead to improved survival and should be tested in future studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: One of the most common translocations in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the t(8;21), which produces the fusion gene AML1-MTG8. We have developed a sensitive competitive reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay for AML1-MTG8 transcripts, coupled with a competitive RT-PCR for the ABL transcript as a control to accurately estimate the level of amplifiable RNA. We have shown that AML1-MTG8 and ABL transcripts have equal degradation rates. Thus, this method is useful for multicenter studies. We studied 25 patients with t(8;21) AML by means of serial analysis done on bone marrow (BM) and peripheral blood (PB) samples from 21 patients. Our analysis showed that, in general, a successful induction chemotherapy produces a reduction of 2 to 3 log in the level of AML1-MTG8, followed by a further 2 to 3 log after consolidation/intensification chemotherapy. Levels up to 1 x 10(3) and 1 x 10(2) molecules/microg of RNA in BM and PB, respectively, were compatible with durable remission. On the other hand, 5 patients with levels of 0.71 x 10(5) to 2.27 x 10(5) molecules/microg of RNA in BM and 2.27 x 10(3) to 2.27 x 10(4) molecules/microg of RNA in PB had hematologic relapse within 3 to 6 months. Our data indicate that serial quantitation of AML1-MTG8 transcripts is useful in identifying patients at high risk of relapse and may offer an opportunity for clinical intervention to prevent hematologic relapse. This approach was applied successfully in a patient who had an allogeneic BM transplantation. We also suggest that PB may be used an alternative to BM for quantitating AML1-MTG8 transcripts.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ninety-five percent of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) will achieve a remission, but approximately 25% will relapse. Identifying these patients is difficult, as patients with adverse prognostic features at presentation are rare and the majority are standard risk. Analysis of minimal residual disease (MRD) may be able to determine those at risk of relapse, but the best method by which this can be accomplished has yet to be defined. The object of this study was to determine the predictive value of residual disease detection in a group of standard-risk patients with precursor-B ALL at a fixed point in therapy (week 20) using a simple fluorescent consensus immunoglobulin H (IgH) heavy chain polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
Forty-two patients who presented with precursor-B ALL with standard-risk clinical features and treated according to either the Medical Research Council (MRC) UKALL X or XI protocols were assessed using a combination of both fluorescent consensus framework I and framework III Ig heavy-chain PCR. The results of the PCR were analyzed on an ABI 373 gene sequencer with genescan software (Applied Biosystems, Foster City, CA). Clonal rearrangements detected at presentation were looked for at week 20.
Of 42 patients, 35 had a clonal population detectable at presentation; of these, seven had more than two clonal rearrangements; this latter group showed a similar disease-free survival (DFS) to the group as a whole. Thirty of 35 patients were analyzed before their second course of intensification therapy at week 20. At this point, nine of 30 had a detectable clonal rearrangement, eight (89%) of whom have since relapsed with a median DFS of 27.5 months. Of the rest of the group (n=21), in whom no clonal rearrangement was detectable, only six (21%) have relapsed.
Fluorescent IgH PCR at week 20 provides a sensitive and specific means to predict ultimate relapse (57% and 89%, respectively) and is a simple yet promising technique for the identification of patients at risk of poor outcome.
Journal of Clinical Oncology 12/1998; 16(11):3616-27. · 18.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have developed a competitor-based RT-PCR technique which will detect and quantitate the CBFbeta/MYH11 transcripts associated with inv(16)(q22;p13) and have used it to study presentation and follow-up samples of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). The levels of the leukaemia-specific transcripts are expressed as a ratio to a ubiquitously expressed mRNA species (Abl) which controls for RNA degradation. This technique has been applied to 75 consecutive patients presenting with either de novo AML or tMDS; 6/75 patients analysed were positive for the inv(16), all were confirmed by conventional cytogenetics. The inv(16) has a strong association with M4Eo, but we found only 2/6-positive patients to have this diagnosis (two patients with M2, one patient M1 and one patient had MDS). At presentation the levels of CBFbeta/MYH11 transcripts were 0.1-10/Abl transcript (mean 3.3/Abl transcript). Seventeen follow-up samples were available on 5/6 of these patients, and on two further patients in whom stored material was available. Following the first cycle of chemotherapy the level of transcripts was at least 10(-2) lower (0.1-10 x 10(-2)/abl transcript) than their presentation sample. Subsequent samples on these patients when in remission gave transcript levels in the range (1.0 x 10(-4) - 2 x 10(-3)/abl transcript), and three long-term follow-up samples were negative. We have developed a quantitative test which opens the possibility of predicting relapse by detecting changes in the numbers of leukaemia-specific transcripts.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Techniques currently available enable the detection of clonal rearrangements of the immunoglobulin heavy chain gene using fluorescent PCR technology. It is possible to use this technique to analyse minimal residual disease throughout patient treatment: however, without the development of a quantitative assay, only the presence or absence of a clonal population can be determined. We describe here the development of a quantitative competitive PCR technique using genomic DNA which enables the rate of clearance of disease to be measured. In future, the ability to detect and also quantitate minimal residual disease may enhance the application of molecular investigations in the clinical management of patients.
British Journal of Haematology 01/1997; 95(4):700-3. DOI:10.1046/j.1365-2141.1996.d01-1950.x · 4.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have adapted and developed a PCR (polymerase chain reaction)-based technique for the T-cell receptor (TCR)-gamma chain gene, which has subsequently been used for routine diagnosis. Variable-region oligonucleotide primers were chosen from subgroups I and II, and the joining region primer was from the J2 segment. The primers were used to perform a 32P-incorporation PCR, and the products were then separated on an 8% denaturing polyacrylamide gel. In our hands, this technique is more reliable than cold methods, when separation is performed on either agarose or nondenaturing polyacrylamide. The radioactive technique was used to look at 102 T-cell proliferations, of which eight of eight T-acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), 24 of 34 T-non-Hodgkin's leukemia (NHL), and 35 of 60 large granular lymphocyte (LGL) expansions were clonal. Of 122 B-cell proliferations investigated, including 72 cases of B-cell lineage ALL, 36 demonstrated a T-cell rearrangement (33 ALLs and three myelomas). Samples from nonlymphoid tumors were tested and produced a normal distribution ladder of PCR products after autoradiography, a pattern also observed with antenatal and preoperative patients. The radiolabel-incorporation method detected an abnormal pattern of a ladder with prominent dark bands in 29 of 122 B-cell and 27 of 102 T-cell cases and in 0 of 49 of the nonlymphoid and normal samples. The abnormal banding patterns obtained in a proportion of the B- and T-cell cases was not readily discernible by nondenaturing-acrylamide or agarose-separation methods.