Despite the major breakthrough in the knowledge of the molecular events underlying the t(9;22) translocation, still no consistent data have been found on the evolution of Ph1 positive CML from the chronic to the accelerated or blastic phase of the disease. In most patients in fact the bcr/abl rearrangements are identical both in chronic phase and in blast crisis, and overall differences in chronic phase duration, related to different location of breakpoints inside the bcr region, were found to be marginal. We approached this problem by studying the molecular features of the bcr/abl abnormality in rare CML patients with very long, atypical chronic phase. The three patients studied, whose chronic phase duration is 17, 19, and 21 years, respectively, have typical genomic bcr rearrangements, and two of them show, hybridizing Northern blots to c-abl, the 8.5 kb mRNA, as that typically present in CML. It seems that genomic alterations within bcr and abl cannot account, alone, for the duration of the chronic phase of Ph1 positive CML and those quantitative and/or qualitative alterations of the p210 bcr/abl protein, unluckily awkward to prove, might be responsible for the atypical clinical features of these CML long survivors.
Philadelphia-positive chronic myelogenous leukemia with typical bcr/abl molecular features and atypical, prolonged survival / Selleri, L.; Emilia, G.; Temperani, P.; Grassilli, E.; Zucchini, P.; Tagliafico, E.; Bonati, A.; Venezia, L.; Ferrari, S.; Torelli, U.; Torelli, G.. - In: LEUKEMIA. - ISSN 0887-6924. - 3:7(1989), pp. 538-542.