We studied the blasts from 795 children greater than 1 year of age with newly diagnosed, untreated B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) for expression of the hematopoietic stem cell-associated antigen CD34. All cases were confirmed as B-lineage lymphoblastic leukemia by virtue of expression of CD 19 and/or CD22, lack of T-cell antigens, and lack of surface-membrane immunoglobulin (Ig). The CD34 antigen was present in at least 10% of blast cells in 587 (73.8%) of the patients. There was no significant difference in presenting clinical characteristics between CD34+ and CD34- patients save for an increased incidence of CNS involvement at diagnosis in the latter. Patients with CD34+ leukemia were more likely to have blasts expressing CD22, CD9, and CD13 antigens but were less likely to coexpress CD20. Patients with pre-B (cytoplasmic μ) ALL were significantly more likely to lack CD34 on their blasts, while children with hyperdiploid ALL were more likely to be CD34 +. Although remission induction rates were not significantly different between patients with CD34 + and CD34- ALL (P = .23), event-free survival was shorter for patients with CD34- leukemia (P = .0014). Even though CD34 expression was associated with certain other known prognostically favorable variables including hyperdiploidy and lack of cytoplasmic Ig, it had an independent favorable effect on treatment outcome, even after adjusting for competing prognostic factors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research