Two patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) showed previously undescribed variants of a “masked” Ph1 abnormality. The first patient had the karyotype 46,XY, + 21, -9, -22, +mar9,mar18 at presentation in the chronic phase. The dicentric marker 9 was interpreted as representing the usual translocation of 22q11 to 9q34, followed by translocation of the Ph1 chromosome (the deleted 22) to 9p and probable translocation of 9p to the distal long arm of the marker. The patient developed clones containing 2 and 3 copies of the “Ph1-containing” marker 9 concomitant with the metamorphosis of his disease to a more aggressive phase. The second case presented with the karyotype 46,XY,- 9,-22,+two D-group markers. A complex rearrangement of chromosomes 9 and 22 is postulated, with interstitial insertion of either 9p or distal 9q into chromosome 22q11. This patient is still in the chronic phase of his disease 9 mo after presentation. The common denominator in these unusual “masked” cases is the 22q11 breakpoint. The paucity of published reports of duplication of 9q + without concurrent duplication of the Ph1 chromosome, supported by the findings in our first case, leads us to conclude that the amplification of genes on the Ph1 chromosome are more important for the evolution of the abnormal stem cell in CML than the chromosome 9 derivative.

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