Blast crisis, closely resembling acute leukemia, is the usual terminal event in chronic myeloid leukemia. Using physical (“fingerprint”) and cultural (colony-forming) methods, we have demonstrated distinctive patterns in the stable phase of chronic myeloid leukemia and in blast crisis. An unusual fingerprint alteration preceding the onset of the terminal phase is noted, and cell culture perturbation is evident at different stages of the disease. Our findings indicate that the application of these methods to the study of hemopoietic disorders is valid, and suggest that the use of such techniques may allow a better understanding of the complex cellular events occurring in the course of chronic myeloid leukemia.

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