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Leukemic Stem Cell Expression May Be Prognostic

Patients with acute myeloid leukemia and stem cell subgroup experience shorter survival

TUESDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and high expression of self-renewing leukemic stem cells (LSC) appear to experience worse clinical outcomes, according to research published in the Dec. 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

To identify an LSC gene expression signature and test its association with clinical outcomes in patients with AML, Andrew J. Gentles, Ph.D., of Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., and colleagues studied gene expression profiles of LSC-enriched cell subpopulations from patients with and without primary AML.

The researchers found that LSC-enriched populations were distinguished from other subpopulations of cell-sorted AML samples by the expression levels of 52 genes. In the validation set of four different cohorts of 1,047 AML subjects, high LSC scores were associated with worse survival in patients with normal karyotypes or chromosomal abnormalities.

"High expression of an LSC gene signature is independently associated with adverse outcomes in patients with AML. If prospectively validated, the described LSC score may be incorporated into routine clinical practice for predicting prognosis in patients with AML and used in clinical trials incorporating risk-based stratification or randomization strategies," the authors write.

Three authors have submitted a stem cell assay-related patent application.

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