The Evolving Landscape of Flowcytometric Minimal Residual Disease Monitoring in B-Cell Precursor Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Martijn W.C. Verbeek, Vincent H.J. van der Velden*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Detection of minimal residual disease (MRD) is a major independent prognostic marker in the clinical management of pediatric and adult B-cell precursor Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (BCP-ALL), and risk stratification nowadays heavily relies on MRD diagnostics. MRD can be detected using flow cytometry based on aberrant expression of markers (antigens) during malignant B-cell maturation. Recent advances highlight the significance of novel markers (e.g., CD58, CD81, CD304, CD73, CD66c, and CD123), improving MRD identification. Second and next-generation flow cytometry, such as the EuroFlow consortium’s eight-color protocol, can achieve sensitivities down to 10−5 (comparable with the PCR-based method) if sufficient cells are acquired. The introduction of targeted therapies (especially those targeting CD19, such as blinatumomab or CAR-T19) introduces several challenges for flow cytometric MRD analysis, such as the occurrence of CD19-negative relapses. Therefore, innovative flow cytometry panels, including alternative B-cell markers (e.g., CD22 and CD24), have been designed. (Semi-)automated MRD assessment, employing machine learning algorithms and clustering tools, shows promise but does not yet allow robust and sensitive automated analysis of MRD. Future directions involve integrating artificial intelligence, further automation, and exploring multicolor spectral flow cytometry to standardize MRD assessment and enhance diagnostic and prognostic robustness of MRD diagnostics in BCP-ALL.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4881
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume25
Issue number9
Early online date30 Apr 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2024

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Publisher Copyright: © 2024 by the authors.

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