HLA antigens and childhood acute lymphocytic leukaemia.
HLA-A and -B antigens were determined for 94 children with acute lymphocytic leukaemia (ALL) and for 376 normal controls. Sixty-four of these 94 patients were typed for lymphocyte surface markers and 59 were defined as 'null cell' ALL. There was no difference in the distribution of the HLA-A or -B locus antigens between the control group and the entire group of patients with ALL or the 'null cell' subgroup. Patients with HLA-A9 determinants had a significant increase in early, first remission duration compared to patients without HLA-A9. This was particularly evident in the 'null cell' ALL subgroup. In addition, HLA-A9 appeared to be an independent factor affecting the length of first remission since there was no correlation between known prognostic factors such as patient age, sex or WBC and the presence or absence of the HLA-A9 antigen. Survival for the first 12-18 months was also greater in the HLA-A9 group than in the non-HLA-A9 population. Thus, the presence of HLA-A9 appears to be associated with some protective effect among patients with ALL.
Davey, FR; Lachant, NA; Dock, NL; Hubbell, C; Stockman, JA; Henry, JB
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