We previously reported the favorable prognosis associated with positive peanut agglutinin (PNA) binding in childhood T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and hypothesized that this may be related to glucocorticoid sensitivity. The purposes of this prospective study involving 202 children with newly diagnosed ALL were to determine the relationship between PNA binding and (1) immunophenotype; (2) in vitro resistance to prednisolone (PRD) and dexamethasone and other drugs; (3) clinical response to a systemic PRD monotherapy (plus one intrathecal injection with methotrexate); and (4) multidrug chemotherapy. PNA positivity was more frequent in T cell ALL (65% of 43 cases) than in pro-B (0% of seven cases), common (17% of 106 cases) and pre-B (16% of 45 cases) ALL (P < 0.001). PNA binding was not associated with in vitro resistance to PRD or dexamethasone. However, in 38 evaluable T cell ALL patients, nine of 13 PNA-negative cases were clinically poor responders to PRD, while all 25 PNA-positive cases were good responders to PRD clinically (P < 0.0001). The four clinically poor PRD responders with B cell precursor (BCP)-ALL were also PNA negative. Within T cell ALL, PNA-positive patients had a 3.4-fold (95% CI, 1.1-10.4, P = 0.03) lower relative risk of any event, than PNA-negative patients. Within BCP-ALL, PNA binding was not of prognostic significance. In conclusion, PNA positivity, especially frequent in T cell ALL, is a marker for a subgroup of childhood ALL patients who are very likely to respond well to systemic PRD 'monotherapy'. In addition, PNA positivity is a favorable prognostic factor in T cell ALL.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 1996|