Toward a leukemia treatment strategy based on the probability of stem cell death: an essay in honor of Dr. Emil J Freireich.
Dr. Emil J Freireich is a pioneer in the rational treatment of cancer in general and leukemia in particular. This essay in his honor suggests that the cell kill concept of chemotherapy of acute myeloblastic leukemia be extended to include two additional ideas. The first concept is that leukemic blasts, like normal hemopoietic cells, are organized in hierarchies, headed by stem cells. In both normal and leukemic hemopoiesis, killing stem cells will destroy the system; furthermore, both normal and leukemic cells respond to regulators. It follows that acute myelogenous leukemia should be considered as a dependent neoplasm. The second concept is that cell/drug interaction should be considered as two phases. The first, or proximal phase, consists of the events that lead up to injury; the second, or distal phase, comprises the responses of the cell that contribute to either progression to apoptosis or recovery. Distal responses are described briefly. Regulated drug sensitivity is presented as an example of how distal responses might be used to improve treatment. (+info)
Prognostic significance of bone marrow biopsy in essential thrombocythemia.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The diagnostic and prognostic value of bone marrow biopsy (BMB) has been widely investigated in patients with chronic myeloproliferative disorders (CMPD). The present study is based on a review of the results of routine BMBs taken from 93 essential thrombocythemia (ET) patients at the time of diagnosis. DESIGN AND METHODS: The common BMB histologic parameters and clinico-hematologic variables were considered for diagnostic and prognostic purposes. Clinico-pathologic correlations were looked for univariately. Moreover, the diagnostic significance of the histologic findings was tested by means of cluster analysis. Overall survival and event-free survival were considered as prognostic endpoints. RESULTS: There were no correlations between the clinic and pathologic findings, and none of the histologic and clinical parameters was predictive of survival or the occurrence of major clinical events. Cluster analysis of the BMB findings revealed two distinct morphologic patterns: one was clearly myeloproliferative; the other had somewhat dysplastic features. The event-free and overall survival rates in the latter group were significantly worse (p = 0.0377 and p = 0.0162 respectively), with major ischemic events accounting for most of the difference in event-free survival. INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: These results have no clearcut counterpart in the literature, but we feel that dysplastic BMB findings could be included in the definition of ET prognostic scores in order to allow therapeutic strategies to be adapted to the level of risk. (+info)
Increased BAX expression is associated with an increased risk of relapse in childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia.
Studies in cell lines have indicated that expression of the BCL-2 family of proteins is an important determinant of chemotherapy-induced apoptosis; however, the level of expression of these proteins in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has not been extensively reported. Using quantitative Western blotting we have determined the level of expression of BCL-2, BAX, MCL-1, and BCL-X in lymphoblasts from 47 children with ALL (33 at presentation only, 4 at relapse only, and 10 at both presentation and on relapse). Results were determined as a ratio to actin as an internal control. BCL-2, BAX, and MCL-1 were detected in all samples. BCL-XL was only detected in 6 cases (4 at presentation and 2 at relapse) and BCL-XS in none. No correlation was found between expression and white blood cell count, age at diagnosis, gender, or blast karyotype. BCL-2 levels and the BCL/BAX and MCL-1/BAX ratios were found to be significantly higher in B-lineage as compared with T-lineage disease (P <.003,.02, and.02, respectively). No consistent pattern of change in expression was noted in the 10 cases studied at both presentation and relapse. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a significant correlation between high BAX expression and an increased probability of relapse (P <.05 by the log rank test), suggesting that chemosensitivity in leukemic blasts may be regulated by factors that override the BCL-2 pathway. (+info)
Matrix metalloproteinase production by bone marrow mononuclear cells from normal individuals and patients with acute and chronic myeloid leukemia or myelodysplastic syndromes.
The two matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) Mr 72,000 type IV collagenase (MMP-2, gelatinase A) and Mr 92,000 type IV collagenase (MMP-9, gelatinase B) play key roles in tissue remodeling and tumor invasion by digestion of extracellular matrix barriers. We have investigated the production of these two enzymes as well as the membrane-type MMP (MT1-MMP) and the tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 in the bone marrow mononuclear cells (BM-MNCs) of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML; n = 24), chronic myeloid leukemia (CML; n = 17), myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS; n = 8), and healthy donors (n = 5). Zymographic analysis of BM-MNC-conditioned medium showed that a Mr 92,000 gelatinolytic activity, identified as MMP-9 by Western blotting, was constitutively released from cells of all patients and healthy individuals examined in this study. In contrast, MMP-2 secretion was found to be absent in all samples from healthy donors but present in 8 of 11 (73%) of the samples from patients with primary AML, 7 of 8 (88%) with secondary AML, and only 1 of 5 (20%) cases with AML in remission, indicating MMP-2 to be produced by the leukemic blasts. MMP-2 release was not detected in CML cell-conditioned medium with the exception of two cases, both patients either being in or preceding blast crisis. In MDS, MMP-2 was found in three of eight (38%) of the patients, two of them undergoing progression of disease within 12 months. Quantitative Northern blot analysis in freshly isolated BM-MNCs showed a relatively low constitutive expression of TIMP-1 in all samples, whereas MMP-9 gene transcription was higher in healthy donors and CML samples, than in AML and MDS. Reverse transcriptase-PCR analysis revealed the presence of TIMP-2 mRNA in the majority of MMP-2-releasing BM-MNCs. MT1-MMP expression was present in most samples of patients with MDS or AML but absent in those with secondary AML and CML. Thus, we have shown that BM-MNCs continuously produce MMP-9 and TIMP-1 and demonstrated that leukemic blast cells additionally secrete MMP-2 representing a potential marker for dissemination in myeloproliferative malignancies. (+info)
Characterization of a novel receptor that maps near the natural killer gene complex: demonstration of carbohydrate binding and expression in hematopoietic cells.
A novel type II integral membrane protein has been identified in the course of screening for genes overexpressed in a mouse model of chronic myelogenous leukemia blast crisis. This new protein, designated NKCL, consists of a 210-amino acid polypeptide with a short, NH2-terminal cytoplasmic tail of 17 amino acids preceding a transmembrane domain and a COOH-terminal extracellular region. The COOH-terminal 132 amino acids bear typical features of the C-type animal lectin carbohydrate-recognition domain. The Nkcl gene is unique in that it maps just proximal to the region of the genome that encodes group V members of the C-type animal lectin family near the natural killer gene complex on mouse chromosome 6, but its protein product also has features of several group II C-type animal lectins. Most notably, it has a complete Ca2+-binding site 2, which forms part of the sugar-binding site in other members of the family, and binds mannose in a Ca2+-dependent manner. Moreover, its expression is not restricted to natural killer cells, as reported for the majority of group V lectins. Nkcl is expressed in pluripotent myeloid precursors, precursor and mature macrophages, and neutrophils. (+info)
Thiotepa, busulfan and cyclophosphamide as a preparative regimen for allogeneic transplantation for advanced chronic myelogenous leukemia.
Thirty-six adults with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) in second or greater chronic phase, accelerated phase, or blast crisis underwent marrow or blood stem cell transplantation from an HLA-matched sibling using high-dose thiotepa, busulfan and cyclophosphamide (TBC) as the preparative regimen. All evaluable patients engrafted and had complete donor chimerism. One patient failed to clear meningeal leukemia, and one patient had one of 30 metaphases positive for the Philadelphia chromosome at 2 months post transplant. The remainder of the patients studied had eradication of CML documented by cytogenetics and/or Southern blot for BCR gene rearrangement, and 13 of 15 patients studied became negative for the BCR gene rearrangement by polymerase chain reaction. Three-year relapse rate is 42% (95% CI, 19-64%). The relapse rate was significantly lower for patients transplanted without blast crisis (9% vs 100%, P < 0.001). Eight (22%, 95% CI, 10-39%) patients had severe or fatal veno-occlusive disease (VOD). Elevated liver enzymes within 1 month prior to transplantation and transplantation using marrow were significantly associated with the occurrence of VOD. Three-year survival is 28% (95% CI, 13-43%). Survival was significantly higher for patients transplanted without blast crisis (45% vs 0%, P = 0.01). TBC is an effective preparative regimen for CML in accelerated phase but not refractory blast crisis, and it should be used with caution in patients with prior hepatopathy who have an increased risk of severe VOD. (+info)
Decreases in Ikaros activity correlate with blast crisis in patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia.
Gene targeting studies in mice have shown that the lack of Ikaros activity leads to T-cell hyperproliferation and T-cell neoplasia, establishing the Ikaros gene as a tumor suppressor gene in mice. This prompted us to investigate whether mutations in Ikaros play a role in human hematological malignancies. Reverse transcription-PCR was used to determine the relative expression levels of Ikaros isoforms in a panel of human leukemia/lymphoma cell lines and human bone marrow samples from patients with hematological malignancies. Among the cell lines examined, only BV-173, which was derived from a chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) patient in lymphoid blast crisis, overexpressed the dominant-negative isoform, Ik-6. In 9 of 17 samples of patients in blast crisis of CML, Ikaros activity had been reduced either by drastically reducing mRNA expression (4 of 17) or by overexpressing the dominant-negative isoform Ik-6 (5 of 17). Significantly, expression of Ikaros isoforms seemed normal in chronic phase CML patients and patients with other hematological malignancies. In some cases, overexpression of the dominant-negative Ik-6 protein was confirmed by Western blot analysis, and Southern blot analysis indicated that decreases in Ikaros activity correlated with a mutation in the Ikaros locus. In summary, these findings suggest that a reduction of Ikaros activity may be an important step in the development of blast crisis in CML and provide further evidence that mutations that alter Ikaros expression may contribute to human hematological malignancies. (+info)
Triggering noncycling hematopoietic progenitors and leukemic blasts to proliferate increases anthracycline retention and toxicity by downregulating multidrug resistance.
Expression of the multidrug resistance (MDR) mechanisms P-glycoprotein (Pgp) and MDR-related protein (MRP) decrease cellular retention and consequently cytotoxicity of anthracyclines. MDR is expressed on normal human hematopoietic progenitors and leukemic blasts. Normal CD34(+) progenitors showed rhodamine efflux in 20% to 30% of the cells, which could be blocked by verapamil. These cells appeared noncycling, in contrast to the proliferating rhodamine bright (RhoB) cells. We postulated that MDR expression can be downregulated by proliferation induction. Triggering rhodamine dull (RhoD) CD34(+) cells to proliferate indeed resulted in a higher rhodamine retention and significantly decreased efflux modulation by verapamil (P =.04). Also in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the proliferation rate (percentage S/G(2)+M and Iododeoxyuridine labelings index) was significantly less in the RhoD blasts (P +info)