Research Papers:

CD20 expression sub-stratifies standard-risk patients with B cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia

ShenMiao Yang, Jing Wang, Ting Zhao, JinSong Jia, HongHu Zhu, Hao Jiang, Jin Lu, Bin Jiang, HongXia Shi, YanRong Liu, YueYun Lai, LanPing Xu, XiaoJun Huang and Qian Jiang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:105397-105406. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.22207

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ShenMiao Yang1, Jing Wang1, Ting Zhao1, JinSong Jia1, HongHu Zhu1, Hao Jiang1, Jin Lu1, Bin Jiang1, HongXia Shi1, YanRong Liu1, YueYun Lai1, LanPing Xu1, XiaoJun Huang1,2 and Qian Jiang1

1Peking University People’s Hospital, Peking University Institute of Hematology, Beijing, China

2Peking Tsinghua Center for Life Sciences, Academy for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, Peking University, Beijing, China

Correspondence to:

Qian Jiang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: CD20; adult; Ph-negative; B cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Received: June 12, 2017     Accepted: September 08, 2017     Published: October 31, 2017


Patients with standard-risk adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) treated with chemotherapy do not have satisfactory outcomes. To more precisely classify ALL patients and optimize treatment, we re-evaluated the risk stratification system by examining CD20 expression and other classic risk factors at diagnosis. We retrospectively analyzed response to induction chemotherapy of 217 consecutive patients with newly diagnosed Philadelphia-negative B cell precursor-ALL. Survival analyses were conducted for the 136 patients who were intended to be treated with chemotherapy alone. Among the 217 patients, 69 (31.8%) were considered standard risk based on age <35 years, white blood cell count <30 × 109/L, absence of central nervous system involvement, and high-risk cytogenetic abnormalities. Seventy-four patients (34.1%) expressed CD20 on ≥20% of leukemia blasts and were considered CD20 positive. We found that fewer CD20-positive than CD20-negative patients achieved durable first complete responses (CR1 ≥3 months) (81.1% vs. 94.9%, P=0.002). Within the standard-risk group, more CD20-negative than CD20-positive patients achieved CR (100% vs. 83.3%, P=0.003) and durable CR1 (100% vs. 82.4%, P=0.014). For patients in the CD20-negative standard-risk, CD20-positive standard-risk, CD20-negative high-risk, and CD20-positive high-risk groups, the 3-year cumulative incidence of relapse was 42.6%, 70.0%, 59.3%, and 69.5%, respectively (P=0.118); the 3-year disease-free survival rates were 52.1%, 0%, 20.7%, and 13.7%, respectively (P=0.006); and the 3-year overall survival rates were 55.8%, 13.8%, 23.6%, and 16.9%, respectively (P=0.006). Our results suggest that patients with CD20-negative standard-risk B cell precursor-ALL have favorable prognosis compared with CD20-positive standard-risk or CD20-negative or -positive high-risk patients. CD20-positive standard-risk ALL patients may need other therapeutic modalities bridging to allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

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