Am J Cancer Res 2015 15;5(1):354-62. Epub 2014 Dec 15.
Department of Internal Medicine I, Division of Hematology and Hemostaseology, Medical University of Vienna Vienna, Austria ; Ludwig Boltzmann Cluster Oncology, Medical University of Vienna Vienna, Austria.
Basophilia is an established prognostic variable in Ph-chromosome+ chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). However, in CML, basophils are often immature and thus escape microscopic quantification. We have previously shown that tryptase is produced and secreted by immature CML basophils. In the current study, serum samples of 79 CML patients (chronic phase=CP, n=69; accelerated/blast phase=AP/BP, n=10) treated with BCR/ABL inhibitors, were analyzed for their tryptase content. Serum-tryptase levels at diagnosis were found to correlate with basophil counts and were higher in AP/BP patients (median tryptase: 29.9 ng/mL) compared to patients with CP (11.7 ng/mL; p<0.05). In 20/69 patients with CP, progression occurred. The progression-rate was higher in patients with tryptase >15 ng/mL (31%) compared to those with normal tryptase levels (9%, p<0.05). To validate tryptase as new prognostic variable, we replaced basophils by tryptase levels in the EUTOS score. This modified EUTOS-T score was found to predict progression-free and event-free survival significantly better, with p values of 0.000064 and 0.00369, respectively, compared to the original EUTOS score (progression-free survival: p=0.019; event-free survival: p=0.156). In conclusion, our data show that the serum-tryptase level at diagnosis is a powerful prognostic biomarker in CML. Inclusion of tryptase in prognostic CML scores may improve their predictive value.