Zalcberg, JR; Friedlander, ML; Minden, MD
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 1986-04)
Cytogenetic and enzymatic studies have shown that chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) represents the clonal proliferation of a pluripotent stem cell. The Philadelphia chromosome (Ph') is the characteristic karyotypic abnormality seen in this disease, although the exact role of this clonal marker in the pathogenesis of CML is uncertain. At a molecular level, the Ph' has recently been shown to represent the translocation of c-abl to a limited (breakpoint cluster region, bcr) on chromosome 22. We have used probes for the bcr gene to obtain molecular evidence for the clonal origin of blast crisis in 2 patient with CML. In both cases, the first with myeloid and the second with lymphoid blast crisis, there was rearrangement of the bcr gene. The patterns of rearrangement varied between patients but were identical when comparing acute and chronic phases within the same individual. As the Ph' translocation is thought to represent a random recombination event these data not only provide further evidence for the clonal origin of blast crisis in CML, but also suggest that in the second patient this translocation event had already occurred at the pluripotent stem cell.