Karyotypes were analyzed by routine Giemsa and quinacrine fluorescence for 16 patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia [ten adults (18 to 51 years) and six children (3 to 15 years)]. Four patients had received previous therapy, but all 16 had active disease when they were first studied. Eight patients (five untreated) had a normal karyotype initially; however, three of these developed a chromosomal abnormality during relapse. Eight patients had a chromosomal abnormality in their initial samples. Each of the 11 patients had different abnormalities. All chromosomes except Nos. 3, 5, 15, 16, and Y were involved in the various aneuploidies. One patient had a Ph1 chromosome due to a translocation with No. 21: t(21;22)(q22;q11). A patient with B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia had a 14q+ marker in addition to other abnormalities. The median survival of patients with initially normal karyotypes may be longer than that of patients whose karyotypes are abnormal initially.


Supported in part by NIH Grants CA 19266 and CA 16910 and by an Otho S. A. Sprague Memorial Institute Grant.

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