Background: Acute myeloid leukemia is a heterogeneous group of diseases characterized by the uncontrolled proliferation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progenitor cells with a reduced capacity to differentiate into mature cells. CXC chemokine receptor (CXCR4) and its ligand stromal derived factor-1 (SDF-1/CXCL12) are important players involved in cross-talk between leukemia cells and the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment. The aim to study the association between the immunohistochemical CXCR4 expression and the clinical outcome of AML in adult Egyptian patients.
Methods: Fifty-eight patients suffering from AML were recruited for this study, with an age range from 18 to 60 years and presenting from January 2013 to March 2017. All patients were subjected to complete blood count, BM aspiration, immunophenotyping, BM trephine biopsy, immunohistochemical staining with CXCR4 McAb and cytogenetics when feasible.
Results: CXCR4 was widely expressed (55.2%) among the studied patients. There was a significant relationship between CXCR4 and patients’ outcomes. Fifteen (71.4%) patients who died were CXCR4 positive. The estimated mean time until death among CXCR4 negative cases was 37.6 ± 4.04 months which was longer than that of CXCR4 positive cases who had mean of 20.04 ± 4.9 months p = 0.016. The risk for death among CXCR4 positive cases was higher than CXCR4 negative cases with hazard ratio (HR) = 2.147 (p = 0.048).
Conclusions: These results suggest that CXCR4 was expressed in a subset of AML patients and was associated with poor prognosis. CXCR4 expression appears to be an independent prognostic factor for survival in a heterogeneous group of AML patients.