High-sensitivity immunocytologic analysis of neuroblastoma cells in paired blood and marrow samples

L. B. Faulkner, V. Tintori, A. Tamburini, A. Paoli, A. Garaventa, E. Viscardi, F. Tucci, A. A. Lippi, B. De Bernardi, G. Bernini

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High-sensitivity immunocytochemistry was used to evaluate the relative frequency of neuroblastoma cells in bone marrow and peripheral blood in patients with neuroblastoma (NB). A total of 51 concomitant paired blood and marrow samples (102 total) from 35 patients with NB (age 4 months-31 years; stage 2 stage IV, 4 stage III, 2 stage IVS; 14 at diagnosis, 18 in relapse, 12 during treatment, and 7 off-therapy) were analyzed. Cytospins containing up to 10 6 cells each were prepared using the mononuclear cell (MNC) fraction. For immunocytologic staining, a primary mouse monoclonal anti- G(D2) antibody (3F8), a secondary antimouse biotinylated antibody, and a streptavidin-alkaline phosphatase complex were used. A minimum of two cytospins containing a mean of 1.4 x 10 6 total MNCs was analyzed in addition to a negative and a positive control. No circulating tumor cells were detected when the concomitant marrow samples were negative or had 6 MNC (23 of 51 samples). Of the 18 marrow samples positive at 10-10,000 cells per 10 6 MNC, 6 had detectable NB cells in the corresponding blood sample, whereas for marrow samples with >10,000 NB cells per 10 6 MNC (1%), the concomitant blood sample was positive for 9 of the 10. When both marrow and blood samples were positive (15 BM-PB pairs), NB cell frequency was significantly lower in blood, with a mean difference of 2.14 logs (median 2.22, range -0.16-4.8, standard error 0.38). In patients with NB, circulating tumor cell frequencies seem to be substantially lower than in concomitant marrow samples, with a mean difference of >2 logs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-366
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hematotherapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Immunology


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