CD34+/CD38- Stem Cell Burden Could Predict Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Patients’ Outcome

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Biochemistry Subdivision, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science; Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt.

2 Hematology Unit, Department of Clinical Pathology, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt.

3 Department of Medical Oncology, Mansoura University Oncology Center (MUOC), Mansoura, Egypt.


Background: The current predictor of the Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)  patients’ outcome is the degree of response to targeted therapy; here we search for a biomarker predicting CML outcome before start of therapy. This study aimed to assess the impact of the  CD34+/CD38- stem cells (SCs) burden in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) on  treatment response and patients’ outcomes. Methods: Our study included 65 CML patients in the chronic phase. The patients’  CD34+/CD38- stem cells were quantified  using flowcytometry before and after treatment by frontline imatinib (IM) therapy. The median follow-up for all patients was 18 months. Results: CD34+/CD38- stem cells frequency at diagnosis and after therapies are correlated to known prognostic markers (blast cells count, spleen size, total White cell count, and clinical scores). After therapy, the leukemic stem cells count dropped rapidly. The pretreatment CD34+/CD38- stem cells burden predicts response to frontline therapy. In addition, high SCs frequency at diagnosis predicts poor molecular response, transformation to AML, and poor patients’ outcomes. Conclusion: The percentage of CD34+/CD38- SCs burden at diagnosis reflects the CML disease behavior and is considered a biomarker for predicting CML patients’ response to first-line Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) therapy.


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