Acute myeloid leukaemia expressing the leucocyte integrin CD11b - a new leukaemic syndrome with poor prognosis: Result of an ECOG database analysis
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
While assessing the prognostic implications of immunophenotyping in 382 patients enrolled in treatment protocols of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) for de novo adult acute myeloid leukaemia, we identified 95 patients with a unique antigen profile characterized by high expression of the leucocyte integrin CD11b (CD11b+ AML). High expression of CD11b was defined as > or = 32% positive blasts based on the retrospectively established prognostic cut-off point for this antigen. Although CD11b is normally expressed by mature monocytes, natural killer cells and granulocytes, leukaemic blasts in CD11b+ AML lacked other immunologic monocytic features (e.g. CD14 and CD122, the interleukin-2 receptor beta chain) and demonstrated a high degree of immaturity, as reflected by a high incidence of blasts expressing the stem cell factor receptor, CD117, and few blasts positive for the myeloid differentiation antigen CD15. Furthermore, by FAB criteria, only 41% of CD11b+ AML cases were classified as M4/M5. Patients with CD11b+ AML had a low response rate (54%) when compared with acute monocytic leukaemia (AMOL; 82%, P = 0.006) or AML overall (68%, P = 0.031), independent of age, cytogenetic abnormalities and P-glycoprotein expression. Because of its poor prognosis, recognition of CD11b+ AML is clinically warranted and, given its morphologic and cytogenetic ambiguity, must be based on the unique antigen profile.