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CD38 as a prognostic marker in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia at a single New Zealand centre: patient survival in comparison to age- and sex-matched population data

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Abstract Aim:

The aim of this study is to determine whether the analysis of CD38 expression by chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) cells provides useful additional prognostic information. Methods:

Clinical, laboratory, overall survival (OS) and treatment-free survival (TFS) data were collected on 130 CLL patients who had CD38 expression analysed at Canterbury Health Laboratories, New Zealand (NZ) during 1998–2008. Results:

The detection of any level of CD38 expression by CLL cells was associated with a significantly shorter OS and TFS. When analysis was restricted to Binet stage A patients, CD38 expression identified a subset of patients (21%) who, in common with Binet stage B/C patients, had a significantly shorter OS and TFS (P < 0.0015), and a TFS at 4 years of <10%. In contrast, CD38-negative Binet stage A patients had an OS that was not significantly different from that of an age/sex-matched NZ population and a 5-year TFS of 77%. Conclusion:

This study indicates that, when combined with clinical staging, the presence of any detectable CD38 expression can be used to further improve the identification of CLL patients with more aggressive disease (i.e. Binet stage B/C or Binet stage A and CD38 positive). This will allow better identification of those patients requiring more intensive monitoring and also allow improved patient counselling regarding prognosis.
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Keywords: Binet; CD38; CLL; flow cytometry; prognosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Haematology Research Group and 2: Canterbury Health Laboratories and 3: Haematology Department, Christchurch Hospital,

Publication date: 2010-12-01

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