The analysis of CD87 (urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor - uPAR) expression has a potential role in the diagnostic or prognostic work-up of several hematological malignancies, particularly acute leukemia and multiple myeloma. The distribution of CD87 in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) varies according to the FAB subtype (highest expression in M5 and lowest in M0). Functionally, it is conceivable that the expression of CD87 could contribute to the invasive properties of the leukemic cells towards the skin and mucosal tissues as reflected by the clinical behavior of CD87 high cases. The lack of or weaker expression of CD87 on blast cells from ALL patients supports the concept that CD87 investigation might help in the distinction of AMLs from lymphold malignancies. Among lymphoproliferative disorders, the expression of CD87 is exclusively found in pathological plasma cells. Since plasma cells also coexpress some adhesion molecules such as CD138 and CD56, this observation is consistent with the capacity of these cells to home in the bone compartment. High levels of soluble uPAR appear to represent an independent factor predicting worse prognosis and extramedullary involvement in multiple myeloma.

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Department of Hematology

Béné, M. C., Lanza, F., van 't Veer, M., Castoldi, G., Knapp, W., Rigolin, G., … Orfao, A. (2004). CD87 (urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor), function and pathology in hematological disorders: A review. Leukemia, 18(3), 394–400. doi:10.1038/sj.leu.2403250