A patient with typical Philadelphia chromosome (Ph1)-positive chronic myelocytic leukemia (CML) was studied during sequential phases of disease: (1) initial chronic phase; (2) myeloid blast crisis; (3) second chronic phase; and (4) accelerated disease. A point mutation in the coding sequence of the p53 gene first appeared concomitantly with the blast crisis and then disappeared with the re-establishment of a second chronic phase. The chromosomal concomitant of the molecular alteration was a deletion of 17p. These observations suggest that abnormalities of the p53 anti-oncogene are temporally related to the clinical progression of some cases of CML and are probably responsible for the development of blast crisis in these cases.

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