AC133 antigen as a prognostic factor in acute leukemia.
Seung Tae Lee ; Joon Ho Jang ; Yun Woong Ko ; Jee Sook Hahn ; Yoo Hong Min
Leukemia Research, Vol.25(9) : 757~767, 2001
AC133 is a novel 5-transmembrane antigen present on a CD34((bright)) subset of human hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and it is also expressed on the subset of CD34 positive (CD34(+)) leukemias. But the clinical significance of AC133 expression on leukemic blasts is not yet known. We investigated the expression of AC133 antigen on blast cells of acute leukemia. Forty-one cases of acute leukemia were examined for expression of AC133, CD34, and other antigens using multicolor flow-cytometry. Samples were considered positive if at least 20% of the cells specifically stained with monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs) revealed a higher fluorescence intensity compared to cells of corresponding negative control samples (=20% cut-off level). 14/36 (38.9%) acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) samples and 6/20 (30%) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) samples were positive for AC133, the difference was not significant. All AC133 positive (AC133(+)) leukemias expressed CD34, whereas 13 of 33 CD34(+) leukemias were negative for AC133, and AC133(+)/CD34(-) leukemia was not found. Expression rates of CD31, CD62L, CD62E, CD105 and CD144 were significantly higher in AC133(+) leukemia compared to those of AC133(-) leukemia (P=0.045, P<0.001, P<0.001, P<0.001, P=0.003, respectively), but bcl-2, CXCR-1, CXCR4, VLA-4, CD106 expression rates were not significantly different between AC133(+) and AC133(-) leukemias. None of the clinical prognostic markers such as age, hemogram, lactate dehydrogenase, and chromosomal aberration were significantly different between AC133(+) and AC133(-) leukemias. CR rates of AC133(+) AML and AC133(-) AML were not significantly different, although there was a trend toward higher CR rates in AC133(-) AML (18/22[81.8%] AC133(-) AML versus 9/14[64.3%] AC133(+) AML), but the 1-year relapse rate of AC133(+) AML was significantly higher than that of AC133(-) AML (8/9 (88.9%) versus 7/19 (36.8%), P=0.016). Median disease-free survival (DFS) times of AC133(+) and AC133(-) AML were significantly different (11 and 18 months, respectively, P=0.006), although overall survival (OS) times were not significantly different (AC133(+) 15 months versus AC133(-) 20 months, respectively, P=0.06). Similar results regarding clinical outcomes were found when AC133(+)/CD34(+) and AC133(-)/CD34(+) were analyzed separately, but the difference did not attain statistical significance. In ALL, 9/11 (81.8%) AC133(-) and 2/4 (50%) AC133(+) cases achieved CR, but the difference was not significant. Four of 11 AC133(-) ALL (36.4%) and 2 of 3 AC133(+) ALL (66.7%) relapsed within 1 year. In survival analysis, median DFS time and OS time of the AC133(+) group were 7 and 18 months, respectively, and these were not significantly different from those of the AC133(-) group (median DFS 15, OS 22 months, respectively). Our results demonstrate that AC133 expression in AML blasts is associated with poor clinical outcomes in terms of higher early relapse and shorter disease-free survival, suggesting that the AC133 antigen might provide the prognostic stratification of acute leukemia. However, to verify the effect of AC133 expression on the therapeutic outcomes of adult acute leukemia, further study including more cases is needed.