Abstract

MRC UKALLXII/ECOG2993 accrued 739 ECOG pts over 13 years. ECOG’s reference laboratories centrally characterized 613 (91%) and 505 were B-Lin ALLs. Expression of 32 antigens (Ags), including 9 myeloid-associated Ags, was determined by multiparameter flow cytometry on gated blasts, both as percentage of Ag expressing blasts and intensity of antibody staining (equivalent of Ag density). To test for the potential therapeutic efficacy of monoclonal antibodies, such as rituximab, epratuzumab, alemtuzumab, or gemtuzumab in future trials, expression of Ags for these antibodies (CD20, CD22, CD52, or CD33, respectively) was determined. In E2993, 14% of pts typed as Pro-B (CD10 negative), 71% as Early Pre-B (CD10 positive), 13% as Pre-B (intracytoplasmic mu positive), and 2% as Mature B-ALL (surface mu chains positive). CD20 expression correlated with the stage of B-lymphoid maturation (p=5.4E-13) (see table). Median CD20 intensity of fluorescence was lowest in Pro-B and highest in Mature B-ALL. Membrane expression of CD22 was lower in Pro-B compared with the other three groups, Early Pre-B, Pre-B and Mature B (p=1.0E-5) but indistinguishable among the latter three (p=0.21). While levels of CD20 and CD22 had no effect on complete remission (CR) and overall survival (OS) univariatly, higher CD22 expression was significantly correlated with better OS (p=0.02) in a bivariate Cox model of CD20 and CD22. With respect to myeloid Ags, CD33/CD13 expression was associated with Early Pre-B (p=0.02), and CD65(s)/CD15(s) with Pro-B ALL (p<0.0001). While CD65(s) and CD15(s) did not affect outcome, the combined expression of CD33/ CD13 conferred an inferior prognosis; this effect was due to the association of CD33/ CD13 with BCR/ABL positivity (p<0.0001). BCR/ABL negative B-Lin ALL (N=350) expressed CD33 on a median of only 4% of blasts, compared with a median of 54% in BCR/ABL positive ALL (N=152) (p=3.5E-09). However, intensity of CD33 staining was significantly lower in both BCR/ABL negative and positive blasts (median 3.1) compared with leukemic myeloblasts (median 56) (p=<0.001). Median CD52 expression was higher in BCR/ABL positive versus negative B-Lin ALL (p=3.5E-06); in neither group was CD52 associated with outcome. We conclude that antibodies to CD52 are better suited for BCR/ ABL positive than negative B-Lin ALL. Since expression of CD33 in ALL is weak, CD33- independent effects of gemtuzumab must be investigated. Low CD20 combined with high CD22 expression confers superior OS. The expression of these Ags in most B-Lin ALL pts justifies the incorporation of antibodies into frontline chemotherapy regimens.

B-Lin ALL Stage CD20 Percentage Median Intensity CD22 Percentage Median Intensity 
 ≥20% ≥50% ≥75%  ≥20% ≥50% ≥75%  
Pro-B 21 10 88 72 55 12 
Early PreB 66 48 37 21 96 90 84 28 
Pre-B 61 46 37 21 100 90 81 37 
Mature B 87 80 64 106 92 84 80 
B-Lin ALL Stage CD20 Percentage Median Intensity CD22 Percentage Median Intensity 
 ≥20% ≥50% ≥75%  ≥20% ≥50% ≥75%  
Pro-B 21 10 88 72 55 12 
Early PreB 66 48 37 21 96 90 84 28 
Pre-B 61 46 37 21 100 90 81 37 
Mature B 87 80 64 106 92 84 80 

Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

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