Seven adult patients with untreated acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) who manifested 5% to 40% myeloperoxidase (MPO)-positive blasts by electron microscopy (EM) are reported. Six patients had an L2 morphology, and one had an L1 morphology by the French-American-British (FAB) classification. The immunophenotype was T cell in four patients. Molecular analysis showed rearrangement of the immunoglobulin JH in four patients, three of them also having rearrangement of the T-cell receptor beta or gamma. Induction chemotherapy with vincristine- doxorubicin-dexamethasone (VAD) produced a complete remission in five of six patients (83%). Our findings suggest the existence of a previously undescribed subtype of mixed-lineage leukemia, which by morphology and immunophenotype often appears as T-cell ALL but exhibits MPO-positive blasts by EM.

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