Recombinant DNA probes for the joining (J(H)) segment of the immunoglobulin heavy chain gene were used to detect molecular rearrangements of this gene in the DNA of bone marrow cells obtained during remission of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). This molecular approach was optimized and found to exceed the sensitivity of conventional morphologic screening for detecting residual leukemia cells; one leukemic cell in 500 normal nucleated bone marrow cells was easily detected using this approach. In the present study, bone marrow from three of seven patients in complete clinical remission (defined morphologically) contained leukemic cells in these proportions. This analysis may be of use in evaluating the status of clinical remission in selected ALL patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology