The presence of lymphocyte receptors for peanut agglutinin in significant numbers (greater than 15%) was identified on leukemic cells from T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) (3/4), B-cell ALL (B- ALL) (2/4), null cell ALL (8/17), and on normal fetal thymic lymphocytes but not on normal human peripheral blood lymphocytes. Peanut agglutinin (PNA) binding was blocked specifically on leukemia lymphoblasts and thymic lymphocytes by the addition of galactose to the medium. When all immunologic subgroups of ALL are combined, preliminary data suggest that of the 13 ALL patients having greater than 15% PNA- positive lymphoblasts, 8 had relapsed, whereas none of the 12 ALL patients with less than 15% PNA-positive cells have recurrent disease at this time. It is likely that analysis of PNA receptors on ALL lymphoblasts may be a useful adjunct to the existing clinical and immunologic prognostic indicators.

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