Annals of Hematology

, 88:1199 | Cite as

Wilms’ tumor gene 1 (WT1) expression in subtypes of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) of adults and impact on clinical outcome

  • Antonia BusseEmail author
  • Nicola Gökbuget
  • Jan Michael Siehl
  • Dieter Hoelzer
  • Stefan Schwartz
  • Anika Rietz
  • Eckhard Thiel
  • Ulrich Keilholz
Original Article


Wilms’ tumor gene 1 (WT1) is gaining increasing attention as a therapeutic target molecule due to its common expression in acute leukemias and its involvement in cell proliferation. Here, we reported on WT1 messenger RNA expression levels at diagnosis in a series of 238 adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) samples of various subtypes and clinical outcome. WT1 expression was found in 219 out of 238 ALL samples (92%). Compared to a cohort of acute myeloid leukemia patients, the median WT1 expression level in ALL was significantly lower with large variations among different ALL subgroups. Specifically, WT1 expression levels were low in mature B-ALL and highest in ALL cases with co-expression of myeloid markers, making it a useful therapeutic target molecule in adult ALL with the exception of mature B-ALL. Cox regression analysis, considering ALL phenotype as well as molecular-cytogenetic subsets, revealed no independent prognostic role of WT1 expression level for disease-free and overall survival.


Adult ALL WT1 



We want to thank Alberto Fusi for critical reading the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonia Busse
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nicola Gökbuget
    • 2
  • Jan Michael Siehl
    • 1
  • Dieter Hoelzer
    • 2
  • Stefan Schwartz
    • 1
  • Anika Rietz
    • 1
  • Eckhard Thiel
    • 1
  • Ulrich Keilholz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicine IIICharité, Campus Benjamin FranklinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Department of Medicine IIIJohann Wolfgang Goethe UniversityFrankfurt/M.Germany

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