CD34-related coexpression of MDR1 and BCRP indicates a clinically resistant phenotype in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) of older age
Clinical resistance to chemotherapy in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is associated with the expression of the multidrug resistance (MDR) proteins P-glycoprotein, encoded by the MDR1/ABCB1 gene, multidrug resistant-related protein (MRP/ABCC1), the lung resistance-related protein (LRP), or major vault protein (MVP), and the breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP/ABCG2). The clinical value of MDR1, MRP1, LRP/ MVP, and BCRP messenger RNA (mRNA) expression was prospectively studied in 154 newly diagnosed AML patients ≤60 years who were treated in a multicenter, randomized phase 3 trial. Expression of MDR1 and BCRP showed a negative whereas MRP1 and LRP showed a positive correlation with high white blood cell count (respectively, p<0.05, p<0.001,p<0.001 and p<0.001). Higher BCRP mRNA was associated with secondary AML (p<0.05). MDR1 and BCRP mRNA were highly significantly associated (p<0.001), as were MRP1 and LRP mRNA (p<0.001) expression. Univariate regression analyses revealed that CD34 expression, increasing MDR1 mRNA as well as MDR1/BCRP coexpression, were associated with a lower complete response (CR) rate and with worse event-free survival and overall survival. When adjusted for other prognostic actors, only CD34-related MDR1/BCRP coexpression remained significantly associated with a lower CR rate (p=0.03), thereby identifying a clinically resistant subgroup of elderly AML patients.