DNA from 135 patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) at various clinical stages and Philadelphia (Ph1) chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia was investigated for alterations in a variety of proto-oncogenes which have been implicated in the evolution of CML from its chronic phase to blast crisis. The most common genetic change found in the evolution of typical Ph1 chromosome positive CML to blast crisis was an alteration of the p53 gene involving either a rearrangement, a deletion, or a point mutation in the coding sequence of the gene. Alterations of the p53 gene were found in the myeloid and the rare megakaryocytic variant of blast crisis but were absent in the lymphoid leukemic transformants. Gross structural alterations were seen in 11 of 54 (20%) of myeloid or unknown phenotypes of blast crisis and in only 1 of 44 chronic phase cases. Eight examples of mutations in the open reading frame of the p53 gene at codons 49, 53, 60, 140, 202, 204, 238, and 239 were observed in blast crisis patients. Mutations in the N-RAS gene were rare in typical blast crisis (2 of 27 cases) but were found in megakaryocytic and Ph1 negative myeloid blast crisis. We concluded that heterogeneous alterations in the p53 gene and occasionally in the N-RAS genes accompany the evolution of chronic phase CML to blast crisis.
H Ahuja, M Bar-Eli, Z Arlin, S Advani, S L Allen, J Goldman, D Snyder, A Foti, M Cline
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were accepted. No appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at email@example.com.