Mixed-phenotype acute leukemia: Historical overview and a new definition

O. K. Weinberg, D. A. Arber

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Acute leukemia with a mixed phenotype is a rare disease and comprises 2-5% of all acute leukemias. These disorders have been known historically by a variety of names, such as mixed lineage leukemia, bilineal leukemia and biphenotypic leukemia, and the criteria for diagnosis have often been arbitrary. The scoring criteria proposed by the European Group for the Immunological Characterization of Leukemias represented a major attempt to define this disorder. However, the relative weight given to some markers and the lack of lineage specificity of most markers have raised questions regarding the significance of this approach. In 2008, the World Health Organization classification of hematopoietic and lymphoid tumors proposed a simpler diagnostic algorithm, which relies on fewer and more lineage-specific markers to define mixed-phenotype acute leukemia (MPAL). MPAL with t(9;22) and MLL rearrangement have been separated. Several studies have suggested that patients with acute leukemia of mixed phenotype have a worse clinical outcome when compared with matched controls with acute myeloid leukemia or acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Further studies are needed to confirm the significance of MPAL as currently defined, to determine a standardized treatment approach and to better understand the biological and clinical aspects of this disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1844-1851
Number of pages8
JournalLeukemia
Volume24
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 23 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • biphenotypic leukemia
  • diagnosis
  • mixed-phenotype acute leukemia
  • review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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