We have measured the plasma level of a fucosyltransferase in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at various stages of the disease and in normal controls. This enzyme transfers the sugar fucose from a guanosine diphosphate-l-fucose donor to high-molecular-weight acceptors with a terminal N-acetylglucosamine residue. The enzyme levels of fucosyltrans ferase in individuals free from disease and in patients with untreated leukemia or lymphoma were comparable. A substantial increase in plasma enzyme level was measured during drug-induced remissions, three weeks after drug therapy. The enzyme level fell to the normal range during unmaintained remissions in patients with lymphomas; comparable information for the leukemia is not available since all remissions were durg maintained. These data, together with microscopic examination of marrow samples, indicate that the level of this fucosyltransferase is correlated with regeneration of a normal marrow population after chemotherapy. The enzyme assay may prove useful in defining normal bone marrow recovery and in timing cyclic combination chemotherapy in patients with neoplastic disease.


This work was supported in part by Grant CA 7177 from the National Cancer Institute, NIH.

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