[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Consensus and Practical Guidelines for robust high-sensitivity detection of glycophosphatidylinostitol-deficient structures on red blood cells and white blood cells in paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) were recently published.
UK NEQAS LI issued three stabilized samples manufactured to contain no PNH cells (normal), approximately 0.1% and 8% PNH leucocyte populations, together with instrument-specific Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and pretitered antibody cocktails to 19 international laboratories experienced in PNH testing. Samples were tested using both standardized protocol/reagents and in-house protocols. Additionally, samples were issued to all participants in the full PNH External Quality Assessment (EQA) programs.
Expert laboratory results showed no difference in PNH clone detection rates when using standardized and their "in-house" methods, though lower variation around the median was found for the standardized approach compared to in-house methods. Neutrophil analysis of the sample containing an 8% PNH population, for example, showed an interquartile range of 0.48% with the standardized approach compared with 1.29% for in-house methods. Results from the full EQA group showed the greatest variation with an interquartile range of 1.7% and this was demonstrated to be significantly different (P<0.001) to the standardized cohort.
The results not only demonstrate that stabilized whole PNH blood samples are suitable for use with currently recommended high-sensitivity reagent cocktails/protocols but also highlight the importance of using carefully selected conjugates alongside the standardized protocols. While much more variation was seen among the full UK NEQAS LI EQA group, the standardized approach lead to reduced variation around the median even for the experienced laboratories.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Cytometry Part B Clinical Cytometry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An international working group within the European LeukemiaNet gathered, aiming to determine the role of flow cytometry (FC) in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). It was agreed that FC has a substantial application in disease characterization, diagnosis and prognosis. FC may also be useful in predicting treatment responses and monitoring novel and standard therapeutic regimens. In this article the rationale is discussed that flow cytometry should be integrated as a part of diagnostic and prognostic scoring systems in MDS.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · Leukemia & lymphoma
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activating mutations in the NOTCH1 pathway are frequent in pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) but their role in refining risk stratification is unclear. We screened 162 pediatric T-ALL patients treated on the MRC UKALL2003 trial for NOTCH1/FBXW7 gene mutations and related genotype to response to therapy and long-term outcome. Overall, 35% were wild-type (WT) for both genes (NOTCH1(WT)FBXW7(WT)), 38% single NOTCH1 mutant (NOTCH1(Single)FBXW7(WT)), 3% just FBXW7 mutant (NOTCH1(WT)FBXW7(MUT)) and 24% either double NOTCH1 mutant (NOTCH1(Double)FBXW7(WT)) or mutant in both genes (NOTCH1(MUT)FBXW7(MUT)), hereafter called as NOTCH1±FBXW7(Double). There was no difference between groups in early response to therapy, but NOTCH1±FBXW7(Double) patients were more likely to be associated with negative minimal residual disease (MRD) post-induction than NOTCH1(WT)FBXW7(WT) patients (71% versus 40%, P=0.004). Outcome improved according to the number of mutations, overall survival at 5 years 82%, 88% and 100% for NOTCH1(WT)FBXW7(WT), NOTCH1(Single)FBXW7(WT) and NOTCH1±FBXW7(Double) patients, respectively (log-rank P for trend=0.005). Although 14 NOTCH1±FBXW7(Double) patients were classified as high risk (slow response and/or MRD positive), only two had disease progression and all remain alive. Patients with double NOTCH1 and/or FBXW7 mutations have a very good outcome and should not be considered for more intensive therapy in first remission, even if slow early responders or MRD positive after induction therapy.Leukemia advance online publication, 20 July 2012; doi:10.1038/leu.2012.176.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported that children in the UKALL XI ALL trial with HLA-DP 1 and -DP 3 supertypes had significantly worse event-free survival (EFS) than children with other DP supertypes. As DP 1 and DP 3 share two of four key antigen-binding amino-acid polymorphisms (aspartic acid84-lysine69), we asked whether Asp84-Lys69 or Asp84 alone were independent prognostic indicators in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). We analysed EFS in 798 UKALL XI patients, stratified by Asp84-Lys69 vs non-Asp84-Lys69, for a median follow-up of 12.5 years. Asp84-Lys69 was associated with a significantly worse EFS than non-Asp84-Lys69 (5-year EFS: Asp84-Lys69: 58.8% (95% CI (confidence of interval): 52.7-64.9%); non-Asp84-Lys69: 67.3% (63.4-71.2%); 2P=0.007). Post-relapse EFS was 10% less in Asp84-Lys69 than non-Asp84-Lys69 patients. EFS was significantly worse (P=0.03) and post-relapse EFS marginally worse (P=0.06) in patients with Asp84 compared with Gly84. These results suggest that Asp84-Lys69 predicted adverse EFS in the context of UKALL XI because of Asp84, and may have influenced post-relapse EFS. We speculate that this may be due to the recruitment of Asp84-Lys69-restricted regulatory T cells in the context of this regimen, leading to the re-emergence of residual disease. However, functional and molecular studies of the prognostic value of this and other HLA molecular signatures in other childhood ALL trials are needed.
Preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Blood Cancer Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pulmonary hypertension is becoming a recognized complication of the hereditary and acquired haemolytic anaemias, associated with a poor prognosis. Recently we reported that patients with paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria (PNH) have high levels of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), a biomarker associated with both right and left ventricular dysfunction and cardiac dysfunction. In the current study we evaluated a cohort of patients (N = 29) with haemolytic PNH for elevated pulmonary artery systolic pressure and cardiac function by Doppler-echocardiography. Of the 29 patients, eight were further studied using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), as well as two additional patients (number of patients studied using cardiac MRI = 10). Plasma from the first cohort (N = 29) demonstrated intravascular haemolysis associated with a 12-fold increase in median nitric oxide (NO) consumption when compared with healthy volunteers (P < 0·001). Doppler echocardiography demonstrated normal left ventricular function and elevated pulmonary artery systolic pressure in 41% of patients. Cardiac MRI from the second cohort (N = 10) demonstrated depressed right ventricular function in 80% of PNH patients tested, and 60% had findings suggestive of subclinical small pulmonary emboli. Together, these data suggest a high prevalence of haemolysis-associated NO scavenging, Doppler-estimated systolic pulmonary hypertension, and depressed right ventricular function in patients with PNH.
Full-text · Article · May 2012 · British Journal of Haematology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Flow cytometry (FC) is increasingly recognized as an important tool in the diagnosis and prognosis of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). However, validation of current assays and agreement upon the techniques are prerequisites for its widespread acceptance and application in clinical practice. Therefore, a working group was initiated (Amsterdam, 2008) to discuss and propose standards for FC in MDS. In 2009 and 2010, representatives from 23, mainly European, institutes participated in the second and third European LeukemiaNet (ELN) MDS workshops. In the present report, minimal requirements to analyze dysplasia are refined. The proposed core markers should enable a categorization of FC results in cytopenic patients as 'normal', 'suggestive of', or 'diagnostic of' MDS. An FC report should include a description of validated FC abnormalities such as aberrant marker expression on myeloid progenitors and, furthermore, dysgranulopoiesis and/or dysmonocytopoiesis, if at least two abnormalities are evidenced. The working group is dedicated to initiate further studies to establish robust diagnostic and prognostic FC panels in MDS. An ultimate goal is to refine and improve diagnosis and prognostic scoring systems. Finally, the working group stresses that FC should be part of an integrated diagnosis rather than a separate technique.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) is an acquired clonal hematopoietic disorder with increased mortality and morbidity resulting from intravascular hemolysis. Eculizumab, a monoclonal antibody against the complement protein 5, stops the intravascular hemolysis in PNH. We evaluated 79 consecutive patients treated with eculizumab in Leeds between May 2002 and July 2010. The survival of patients treated with eculizumab was not different from age- and sex-matched normal controls (P = .46) but was significantly better than 30 similar patients managed before eculizumab (P = .030). Three patients on eculizumab, all over 50 years old, died of causes unrelated to PNH. Twenty-one patients (27%) had a thrombosis before starting eculizumab (5.6 events per 100 patient-years) compared with 2 thromboses on eculizumab (0.8 events per 100 patient-years; P < .001). Twenty-one patients with no previous thrombosis discontinued warfarin on eculizumab with no thrombotic sequelae. Forty of 61 (66%) patients on eculizumab for more than 12 months achieved transfusion independence. The 12-month mean transfusion requirement reduced from 19.3 units before eculizumab to 5.0 units in the most recent 12 months on eculizumab (P < .001). Eculizumab dramatically alters the natural course of PNH, reducing symptoms and disease complications as well as improving survival to a similar level to that of the general population.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) is a rare hematopoietic stem cell disorder characterized by a somatic mutation in the PIGA gene, leading to a deficiency of proteins linked to the cell membrane via glycophosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchors. While flow cytometry is the method of choice for identifying cells deficient in GPI-linked proteins and is, therefore, necessary for the diagnosis of PNH, to date there has not been an attempt to standardize the methodology used to identify these cells.
In this document, we present a consensus effort that describes flow cytometric procedures for detecting PNH cells.
We discuss clinical indications and offer recommendations on data interpretation and reporting but mostly focus on analytical procedures important for analysis. We distinguish between routine analysis (defined as identifying an abnormal population of 1% or more) and high-sensitivity analysis (in which as few as 0.01% PNH cells are detected). Antibody panels and gating strategies necessary for both procedures are presented in detail. We discuss methods for assessing PNH populations in both white blood cells and red blood cells and the relative advantages of measuring each. We present steps needed to validate the more elaborate high-sensitivity techniques, including the need for careful titration of reagents and determination of background rates in normal populations, and discuss technical pitfalls that might affect interpretation.
This document should both enable laboratories interested in beginning PNH testing to establish a valid procedure and allow experienced laboratories to improve their techniques.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2010 · Cytometry Part B Clinical Cytometry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a common complication of haemolytic anaemia. Intravascular haemolysis leads to nitric oxide (NO) depletion, endothelial and smooth muscle dysregulation, and vasculopathy, characterized by progressive hypertension. PH has been reported in patients with paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria (PNH), a life-threatening haemolytic disease. We explored the relationship between haemolysis, systemic NO, arginine catabolism and measures of PH in 73 PNH patients enrolled in the placebo-controlled TRIUMPH (Transfusion Reduction Efficacy and Safety Clinical Investigation Using Eculizumab in Paroxysmal Nocturnal Haemoglobinuria) study. At baseline, intravascular haemolysis was associated with elevated NO consumption (P < 0.0001) and arginase-1 release (P < 0.0001). Almost half of the patients in the trial had elevated levels (> or =160 pg/ml) of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), a marker of pulmonary vascular resistance and right ventricular dysfunction previously shown to indicate PH. Eculizumab treatment significantly reduced haemolysis (P < 0.001), NO depletion (P < 0.001), vasomotor tone (P < 0.05), dyspnoea (P = 0.006) and resulted in a 50% reduction in the proportion of patients with elevated NT-proBNP (P < 0.001) within 2 weeks of treatment. Importantly, the significant improvements in dyspnoea and NT-proBNP levels occurred without significant changes in anaemia. These data demonstrated that intravascular haemolysis in PNH produces a state of NO catabolism leading to signs of PH, including elevated NT pro-BNP and dyspnoea that are significantly improved by treatment with eculizumab.
Preview · Article · Mar 2010 · British Journal of Haematology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria (PNH), pregnancy is associated with increased maternal and foetal complications to such an extent that the condition has been considered relatively contra-indicated in PNH. Eculizumab has revolutionized the treatment of PNH. We evaluate its use in pregnancy to date. We report on seven patients exposed to eculizumab at different stages of pregnancy including the first two patients to receive the drug from conception to delivery. There was no evidence of complement blockade from cord blood samples taken at delivery. Eculizumab appears safe to use in this setting and is likely to prevent many of the complications usually observed.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2010 · British Journal of Haematology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria is an acquired hemolytic anemia characterized by intravascular hemolysis which has been demonstrated to be effectively controlled with eculizumab. However, lactate dehydrogenase levels remain slightly elevated and haptoglobin levels remain low in some patients suggesting residual low-level hemolysis. This may be due to C3-mediated clearance of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria red blood cells through the reticuloendothelial system.
Thirty-nine samples from patients not treated with eculizumab and 31 samples from patients treated with eculizumab were obtained (for 17 of these 31 samples there were also samples taken prior to eculizumab treatment). Membrane bound complement was assessed by flow cytometry. Direct antiglobulin testing was carried out using two methods. Lactate dehydrogenase was assayed to assess the degree of hemolysis.
Three of 39 patients (8%) with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria not on eculizumab had a positive direct antiglobulin test, while the test was positive in 21 of 31 (68%) during eculizumab treatment. Of these 21 patients who had a positive direct antiglobulin test during eculizumab treatment, 17 had been tested prior to treatment; only one was positive. Flow cytometry using anti-C3 monoclonal antibodies was performed on the 21 direct antiglobulin test-positive, eculizumab-treated patients; the median proportion of C3-positive total red blood cells was 26%. Among the eculizumab-treated patients, 16 of the 21 (76.2%) with a positive direct antiglobulin test received at least one transfusion compared with one of ten (10.0%) of those with a negative test (P<0.01). Among the eculizumab-treated patients, the mean hemoglobin value for the 21 with a positive direct antiglobulin test was 9.6+/-0.3 g/dL, whereas that in the ten patients with a negative test was 11.0+/-0.4 g/dL (P=0.02).
These data demonstrate a previously masked mechanism of red cell clearance in paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and suggests that blockade of complement at C5 allows C3 fragment accumulation on some paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria red cells, explaining the residual low-level hemolysis occurring in some eculizumab-treated patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria is a rare disorder of hemopoietic stem cells. Affected individuals have a triad of clinical associations - intravascular hemolysis, an increased risk of thromboembolism, and bone marrow failure. Most of the symptoms experienced in this disease occur due to the absence of complement regulatory proteins on the surface of the red blood cells. Complement activation is thus not checked and causes destruction of these cells. Eculizumab is a monoclonal antibody treatment which specifically binds to the complement protein C5, preventing its cleavage, and so halts the complement cascade and prevents the formation of the terminal complement proteins. Eculizumab prevents intravascular hemolysis, stabilizes hemoglobin levels, reduces or stops the need for blood transfusions, and improves fatigue and patient quality of life as well as reducing pulmonary hypertension, decreasing the risk of thrombosis and protecting against worsening renal function. It is not a curative therapy but has a great benefit on those with this rare debilitating condition.
Preview · Article · Nov 2009 · Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The myelodysplastic syndromes are a group of clonal hematopoietic stem cell diseases characterized by cytopenia(s), dysplasia in one or more cell lineages and increased risk of evolution to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Recent advances in immunophenotyping of hematopoietic progenitor and maturing cells in dysplastic bone marrow point to a useful role for multiparameter flow cytometry (FCM) in the diagnosis and prognostication of myelodysplastic syndromes. In March 2008, representatives from 18 European institutes participated in a European LeukemiaNet (ELN) workshop held in Amsterdam as a first step towards standardization of FCM in myelodysplastic syndromes. Consensus was reached regarding standard methods for cell sampling, handling and processing. The group also defined minimal combinations of antibodies to analyze aberrant immunophenotypes and thus dysplasia. Examples are altered numbers of CD34(+) precursors, aberrant expression of markers on myeloblasts, maturing myeloid cells, monocytes or erythroid precursors and the expression of lineage infidelity markers. When applied in practice, aberrant FCM patterns correlate well with morphology, the subclassification of myelodysplastic syndromes, and prognostic scoring systems. However, the group also concluded that despite strong evidence for an impact of FCM in myelodysplastic syndromes, further (prospective) validation of markers and immunophenotypic patterns are required against control patient groups as well as further standardization in multi-center studies. Standardization of FCM in myelodysplastic syndromes may thus contribute to improved diagnosis and prognostication of myelodysplastic syndromes in the future.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using single and multiple colour flow cytometry (FACSCAN), this study has examined the expression of NK-associated (NKa) CD11b, CD16, CD56 and CD57 membrane antigens by normal lymphocyte subpopulations. In addition to determining the normal proportions and absolute numbers of NKa+ cells, this investigation also related the expression of these four NKa markers to the presence of; (a) morphologically-defined large granular lymphocytes, (LGL); and (b) membrane CD2, CD3, CD8 and TCR chain expression. This was achieved by preparing highly enriched normal blood CD4-CD8+/CD4 CD8+ and CD4-CD8- lymphocyte fractions (n = 6) by immunomagnetic depletion of CD4+/CD14+/CD19+ or CD4+/CD8+/CD14+/CD19+ components respectively. Morphological assessment of these fractions showed that the sequential depletion procedures resulted in the enrichment of LGL, from a mean of 9% for the “whole” lymphocyte (pre-depletion) fraction, to 35% following removal of CD4+, CD14+ and CD19+ cells and to 80%) following the additional removal of CD8+ cells. FACS analysis revealed the presence of three CD8 subgroups (CD8-, CD8dim+ and CD8+), defined by differences in membrane staining intensity, and subsequent three-colour (CD2/CD3/CD8) studies indicated that the main composite CD2/CD3 phenotypes for these CD8 groups were (relative frequencies in parenthesis); (a) CD8+, CD2+CD3+ (94%); (b) CD8dim+, CD2+ CD3+ (31%) and CD2+CD3- (52%); and (c) CDS-, CD2+CD3+ (20%), CD2+CD3- (58%) and CD2-CD3- (22%). Analysis of paired NKa marker expression (CD11b and CD56; CD11b and CD57; CD16 and CD57), when correlated with CD3 and CD8, showed that (a) the predominant NKa phenotype of CD3+CD4-CD8+ cells was CD11b-CD16-CD56-CD57-; (b) CD3+CD4-CD8dim+ and CD3+CD4-CD8- subpopulations showed CD11b-CD16-CD56-CD57± and CD11b±CD16-CD56-CD57- composite phenotypes respectively (where — and ± denote <20% and 21-60%0 NKa+ positive cells); and (c) the highest proportions of NKa+ cells were associated with CD3- subpopulations, with composite phenotypes for CD3-CD4-CD8dim+ and CD3-CD4-CD8- components being CD11b-CD16±CD56+CD57± and CD11b+CDl6+CD56+CD57± (where + denotes >60% NKa+ cells). Expression of NKa determinants by normal CD4- lymphoid subpopulations was thus shown to increase in the order CD3+CD8+ > CD3+ CD8dim+ or CD3+CD8- > CD3-CD8dim+ > CD3-CD8-. Studies of TCR chain expression by NKa+ (CD16/CD56) and NKa- subgroups of the CD4-CD8- fraction additionally showed that the presence of membrane TCRαδ (mean 18%) or TCRγδ (mean 35%) chains were primarily associated with the NKa- component and that virtually all (93%) NKa+ cells were TCRαβ-TCRγδ. Examination of CD4-CD8-NKa+ cells for the expression of other T-cell associated markers (CD5, CD7 and CD38) also indicated that this NKa+ LGL-rich fraction could be further subdivided into CD2+CD3-CD5-CD7+CD38+ and CD2-CD3-CD5--CD7+CD38+ subpopulations.
No preview · Article · Jun 2009 · Leukemia and Lymphoma
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Leukaemic myeloid blasts from non-monocytic (M1-M3, n = 36) and monocytic (M4 and M5, n = 21) AML cases were examined for the expression of 12 different membrane determinants by flow cytometry. Data analyses for each antigen included the determination of (a) the mean fluorescence intensity for the whole blast cell population, (b) the relative levels of membrane fluorescence for individual events (cells), and (c) a conventional assessment of the proportion of cells staining positively (i.e. exceeding a pre-defined level of fluorescence). Three main types of staining histogram were observed and, of these, the most commonly seen (348/432 and 176/252 of non-monocytic and monocytic AML histograms respectively) was characterised by an homogenous distribution of staining intensities which did not exceed two log decades of fluorescence (S-type). The second staining pattern was characterised by a continuous spectrum of fluorescence which exceeded two log decades of fluorescence (SE-type), and the third pattern showed evidence of two leukaemic populations with different levels of fluorescent staining (BI-type). With the exception of occasional AML cases which expressed CD7 or CD19 with low staining intensity, the expression of lymphoid-associated membrane CD3, CD10, and CD22 by AML blasts was insignificant. For comparison, analysing the histogram patterns of expression for the myeloid and non-lineage associated membrane determinants revealed that CD11c, CD13, CD14, and CD38 were mainly of S- or SE-type for the non-monocytic AML variants, with a minor but significant proportion of such cases expressing CD33 (7/36), CD34 (6/36) and HLA-Dr (6/36) with a BI-type staining pattern. Similarly, histogram patterns for CD13, CD33, CD34 and CD38 expression by the monocytic AML variants were predominantly of S- or SE- type, with minor proportions of cases expressing CD11c (7/21), CD14 (10/21), and HLA-Dr with BI-type staining. Comparisons between the mean fluorescence staining intensities for the whole blast cell population and conventional positive versus negative delineations for each antigen studied further suggested that semi-quantitative measurements of fluorescent staining were more informative and potentially of greater relevance to the study and diagnostic assessment of acute myeloid leukaemia subtypes.
No preview · Article · Jun 2009 · Leukemia and Lymphoma