In acute myelogenous leukemia, the persistent detection of abnormal cytogenetics at complete remission (ACCR) is associated with inferior outcomes. However, the prognostic significance of ACCR in adult patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is unknown. We evaluated 272 adult patients with ALL and abnormal cytogenetics at baseline who were treated with frontline induction chemotherapy, achieved complete remission (CR) and had cytogenetic analysis performed at the time of CR. ACCR was observed in 26 patients (9.6%). Median relapse-free survival was 22 months (95% CI, 12 months to not reached) for patients with ACCR vs. 48 months (range, 30-125 months) in patients with normal cytogenetics at CR (NCCR; P=0.31). Median overall survival also did not differ significantly between the ACCR (99 months [range, 17 months to not reached]) and NCCR groups (67 months [range, 47 months to not reached], P=0.86). The specificity of ACCR for minimal residual disease (MRD) positivity by multi-parameter flow cytometry (MFC) was 43%, and there was overall poor correlation between these two methods for the detection of residual disease. When patients were stratified by MRD status, the presence or absence of persistent cytogenetic abnormalities at CR did not add additional prognostic information. This study suggests that there is poor association between MRD assessment by MFC and the presence or absence of cytogenetic abnormalities at CR in adult patients with ALL. ACCR was not associated with adverse outcomes in ALL and did not add additional prognostic information when MRD status by MFC was known.
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