|Monitoring of remission status by fluorescence in situ hybridisation in chronic myeloid leukaemia patients treated with interferon-alpha.|
Authors: H C Duba, S Peter, W Hilbe, T Fluckinger, M Fridrik, M Erdel, J Thaler, G Utermann
Affiliations: Institut für Medizinische Biologie und Humangenetik der Universität Innsbruck, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria.
Interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) can be considered as treatment of choice for patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) in chronic phase. With this treatment major cytogenetic responses can be achieved in 30% to 50% of patients. Regular monitoring of cytogenetic response is essential for the therapeutic management of these patients. As conventional cytogenetics is not always successful, especially under IFN-alpha treatment, molecular cytogenetic methods have been established for the examination of interphase nuclei for the presence of the BCR-ABL fusion gene, the molecular counterpart of the Philadelphia chromosome. To demonstrate the value of these new methods we have analysed interphase nuclei from sequentially cultured bone marrow cells from 14 CML patients who were treated with IFN-alpha and whose bone marrow was investigated regularly during therapy. Dual-colour FISH with a breakpoint spanning BCR-YAC and a flanking cosmid from the ABL region was applied. When compared with conventional cytogenetics the results achieved by FISH were favourable. The most evident advantage of FISH analysis is that in case of failure of conventional cytogenetics a reliable determination of the remission status can be done. Together with other recent studies our results illustrate the advantages and limitations of the interphase FISH method for monitoring CML patients.