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Risk Stratification in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

The Role of the Clinical Laboratory

CLL Prognostics: CD38

Slide 11

November 2008

Using Immunophenotyping to diagnose CLL is a well-established methodology. Recently the use of immunophenotyping to identify various proteins that are associated with outcome in CLL have become established within the clinical laboratory.

The initial one identified was CD38. CD38 was developed originally as an early T-cell marker and then found to be present in mature T cells, T-cell ALL, AML, and in some cases B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders. In addition, it was identified in a subset of patients with CLL.

As it turns out, CD38 is stable in untreated CLL patients but may vary when patients undergo chemotherapy.   Initially, CD38 was found to correlate with the IgVH mutation status, i.e., a poorer prognosis.  Greater than 30% expression of CD38 has been used as the “cut-point” between calling a case positive or negative.

CLL Prognostics: CD38


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