Detection of minimal residual disease (MRD) in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) is becoming increasingly important as treatments improve. An internationally harmonised four-colour (CLR) flow cytometry MRD assay is widely used but has limitations. The aim of this study was to improve MRD analysis by identifying situations where a less time-consuming CD19/CD5/κ/λ analysis would be sufficient for detecting residual CLL, and develop a six-CLR antibody panel that is more efficient for cases requiring full MRD analysis. In 784 samples from CLL patients after treatment, it was possible to determine CD19/CD5/κ/λ thresholds that identified cases with detectable MRD with 100% positive predictive value (PPV). However, CD19/CD5/κ/λ analysis was unsuitable for predicting iwCLL/NCI response status or identifying cases with no detectable MRD. For the latter cases requiring a full MRD assessment, a six-CLR assay was designed comprising CD19/CD5/CD20 with (1) CD3/CD38/CD79b and (2) CD81/CD22/CD43. There was good correlation between four-CLR and six-CLR panels in dilution studies and clinical samples, with 100% concordance for detection of residual disease at the 0.01% (10-4) level (n=59) and good linearity even at the 0.001-0.01% (10-5-10-4) level. A six-CLR panel therefore provides equivalent results to the four-CLR panel but it requires fewer reagents, fewer cells and a much simpler analysis approach.
- chronic lymphocytic leukaemia
- flow cytometry
- minimal residual disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine