Advances and issues in flow cytometric detection of immunophenotypic changes and genomic rearrangements in acute pediatric leukemia
Flow cytometry with its rapidly increasing applications has been using to aid the diagnosis of hematological disorders for more than two decades. It is also the most commonly used technology in childhood leukaemia diagnosis, characterization, prognosis prediction and even in the decision making of targeted therapy. Leukemia cells can be recognized by virtue of unique cell marker combinations, visualized with monoclonal antibodies conjugated and detected by flow cytometry. Currently, such instruments allow the detection of eight or more markers by providing a comprehensive description of the leukemic cell phenotype to facilitate their identification, especially in detecting and monitoring of minimal residual disease (MRD) during treatment. Additionally, the flow cytometric DNA index (DI) can identify biclonality at diagnosis and distinguish persistent aneuploid leukemia during induction therapy, when the standard cytogenetic and morphologic techniques fail to do so. This review focuses on the latest advances and application issues about some of flow cytometric diagnostic and prognostic applications for acute pediatric leukemia.