Favorable prognosis of hyperdiploid common acute lymphoblastic leukemia may be explained by sensitivity to antimetabolites and other drugs: Results of an in vitro study

G. J.L. Kaspers, L. A. Smets, R. Pieters, C. H. Van Zantwijk, E. R. Van Wering, A. J.P. Veerman

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DNA hyperdiploidy is a favorable prognostic factor in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The explanation for this prognostic significance is largely unknown. We have studied whether DNA ploidy was related to cellular resistance to 12 drugs, assessed with the methyl-thiazol- tetrazolium assay, in samples of 74 children with common (CD10+ precursor B- cell) ALL. Sixteen patients had hyperdiploid ALL cells and 58 patients had nonhyperdiploid ALL cells. Hyperdiploid ALL cells were more sensitive to mercaptopurine (median, 9.0-fold; P = .000003), to thioguanine (1.4-fold; P = .023), to cytarabine (1.8-fold; P = .016), and to I-asparaginase (19.5-fold; P = .022) than were nonhyperdiploid ALL cells. In contrast, these two ploidy groups did not differ significantly in resistance to prednisolone, dexamethasone, vincristine, vindesine, daunorubicin, doxorubicin, mitoxantrone, and teniposide. The percentage of S-phase cells was higher (P = .05) in the hyperdiploid ALL samples (median, 8.5%) than in the nonhyperdiploid ALL samples (median, 5.7%). However, the percentage of cells in S-phase was not significantly related to in vitro drug resistance. We conclude that the favorable prognosis associated with DNA hyperdiploidy in childhood common ALL may be explained by a relative sensitivity of hyperdiploid common ALL cells to antimetabolites, especially to mercaptopurine and to I-asparaginase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-756
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 1995

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