Immunophenotyping studies with monoclonal antibodies have revealed the heterogeneity of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and non- Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). The lymphoid malignancies of T-cell lineage are particularly heterogeneous and, until now, no single monoclonal antibody has been found to identify all cases of T-ALL and T-NHL. A monoclonal antibody, 4H9, recognizes an antigen of 40,000 molecular weight on normal and malignant T cells. Thirty-six cases of childhood T- ALL and T-NHL were tested, and in all cases, the malignant blast cells were reactive with 4H9, whereas malignant cells from 61 cases of non-T ALL and NHL were not reactive with 4H9. Monoclonal antibody 4H9 is a sensitive and specific reagent for the identification of childhood T- cell ALL and NHL and should be extremely useful in immunophenotyping studies of lymphoid malignancies.

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