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Two new protein biomarkers may serve as prognostic indicators for outcomes in CLL



Two new protein biomarkers may serve as prognostic indicators for outcomes in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients, according to the results of a proteomic assessment of patients’ serum compared to their event-free survival (EFS).

The results were published in Experimental Hematology.

The study attempted to validate the prognostic ability of known proteomic markers measured pretreatment and to search for new proteomic markers that might be related to treatment response in CLL, according to Fatemeh Saberi Hosnijeh, MD, of Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and colleagues.

Baseline serum samples were taken from 51 CLL patients who were then treated with chemoimmunotherapy. The samples were analyzed for 360 proteomic markers, and those results were compared with patient EFS.

Study subjects were selected from patients enrolled in the HOVON 109 clinical trial, a phase 1/2 trial designed to assess the efficacy and safety of first-line therapy involving chlorambucil, rituximab,and lenalidomide in elderly patients and young frail patients with advanced CLL.

The patients assessed comprised 30 men and 21 women, and the median EFS for all patients was 23 months (ranging from 1.25 to 60.9 months).

Promising biomarkers

The researchers found that patients who had high serum levels of the proteins sCD23 (P = .026), sCD27 (P = .04), the serine peptidase inhibitor SPINT1 (P = .001), and the surface antigen protein LY9 (P = .0003) had a shorter EFS than those with marker levels below the median.

“Taken together, our results validate the prognostic impact of sCD23 and highlight SPINT1 and LY9 as possible promising markers for treatment response in CLL patients,” the researchers stated.

“Despite the relatively small number of available cases, which had an impact on statistical power, our pilot study identified SPINT1 and LY9 as promising independent prognostic proteomic markers next to sCD23 and sCD27 in patients treated for CLL. Further studies with larger sample sizes are required to validate these results,” the researchers concluded.

This research was supported by a grant from Gilead Sciences and an EU TRANSCAN/Dutch Cancer Society grant. The authors declared that they had no conflicts of interest.

SOURCE: Hosnijeh FS et al. Exp Hematol. 2020;89:55-60.

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