An immunophenotypic pre‐treatment predictor for poor response to induction chemotherapy in older acute myeloid leukaemia patients: blood frequency of CD34+ CD38low blasts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Paul Virgo
  • S. Couzens
  • Peter Richardson
  • Ian Thomas
  • Angela Grech
  • Paresh Vyas
  • David Grimwade
  • N. H. Russell
  • Alan K Burnett

External organisations

  • Cardiff University
  • Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine
  • Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust


Many older patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) that receive standard intensive chemotherapy fail to achieve complete remission (CR). Upfront identification of patients unlikely to benefit from standard induction chemotherapy would be important for exploration of novel therapies. This study evaluated if a flow cytometric assay measuring pre-treatment CD34+ CD38low blast frequency could predict therapeutic-resistance in 736 AML patients entered into the UK National Cancer Research Institute AML16 trial. High peripheral blood CD34+ CD38low blast frequency (>7% of leucocytes), present in 18% of assessable patients, conferred significantly reduced CR rates (38% vs. 76%, P < 0·0001) and poor survival, and was independently prognostic for all endpoints of treatment resistance by multivariate analysis.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80–84
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number1
Early online date14 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015


  • Acute myeloid leukaemia, older patients, flow cytometry, Prognostic