A major deletion of the region proximal to the rearranged ABL gene on 9q was found in 14/94 (15%) of chronic myelogenous leukemia Philadelphia-positive patients by interphase fluorescent in situ hybridization with the BCR/ABL extra signal dual-color probe. Preliminary results indicated that the prognosis of the deletion 9q patients is probably worse than that of the non-deletion 9q patients. Twelve of the 14 deletion 9q patients were treated with α-interferon and none had a major cytogenetic response. The median duration of the chronic phase in patients not undergoing BMT was significantly shorter for the deletion 9q patients as compared to the non-deletion 9q patients (p = .0144). DNA microarray technology was performed in order to compare the gene expression patterns between the two groups of patients. A number of genes exhibiting differential expression, especially involving cell adhesion and migration, were identified. This finding may identify a sub-group of CML patients with different cell properties and a relatively poor prognosis.
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We thank Mrs. Bella Weisman for her excellent technical assistance and Dr. Yael Villa for the statistical analysis. This work was performed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Ph.D. degree of N.C. and G.R.-G., Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University. This work was supported by the Rich Foundation and by the Arison Dorsman Family. G.R. holds the Gregorio and Dora Shapiro Chair in hematologic malignancies at the Sackler School of Medicine.