[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Serial quantification of BCR-ABL1 mRNA is an important therapeutic indicator in chronic myeloid leukemia, but there is substantial variation in results reported by different laboratories. To improve comparability, an internationally accepted plasmid certified reference material (CRM) was developed according to ISO Guide 34:2009. Fragments of BCR-ABL1 (e14a2 mRNA fusion), BCR and GUSB transcripts were amplified and cloned into pUC18 to yield plasmid pIRMM0099. Six different linearised plasmid solutions were produced with the following copy number concentrations, assigned by digital PCR, and expanded uncertainties: 1.08±0.13 × 10(6), 1.08±0.11 × 10(5), 1.03±0.10 × 10(4), 1.02±0.09 × 10(3), 1.04±0.10 × 10(2) and 10.0±1.5 copies/μL. The certification of the material for the number of specific DNA fragments per plasmid, copy number concentration of the plasmid solutions and the assessment of inter-unit heterogeneity and stability were performed according to ISO Guide 35:2006. Two suitability studies performed by 63 BCR-ABL1 testing laboratories demonstrated that this set of 6 plasmid CRMs can help to standardise the numbers of measured transcripts of e14a2 BCR-ABL1 and three control genes; ABL1, BCR and GUSB. The set of 6 plasmid CRMs is distributed worldwide by the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (Belgium) and its authorised distributors (http://irmm.jrc.ec.europa.eu; CRM code ERM-AD623a-f).Leukemia accepted article preview online, 18 July 2014; doi:10.1038/leu.2014.217.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Serial quantitation of BCR-ABL mRNA levels is an important indicator of therapeutic response for patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia and Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia, but there is substantial variation in the real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction methodologies used by different testing laboratories. To help improve the comparability of results between centers we sought to develop accredited reference reagents that are directly linked to the BCR-ABL international scale. After assessment of candidate cell lines, a reference material panel comprising 4 different dilution levels of freeze-dried preparations of K562 cells diluted in HL60 cells was prepared. After performance evaluation, the materials were assigned fixed percent BCR-ABL/control gene values according to the International Scale. A recommendation that the 4 materials be established as the first World Health Organization International Genetic Reference Panel for quantitation of BCR-ABL translocation by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction was approved by the Expert Committee on Biological Standardization of the World Health Organization in November 2009. We consider that the development of these reagents is a significant milestone in the standardization of this clinically important test, but because they are a limited resource we suggest that their availability is restricted to manufacturers of secondary reference materials.