Research Article

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia: a heterogenous disease.

Br Med J 1975; 1 doi: (Published 08 February 1975) Cite this as: Br Med J 1975;1:312
  1. D G Haegert,
  2. J Stuart,
  3. J L Smith


    By using several techniques to detect surface markers on T and B lymphocytes, 11 cases of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (A.L.L.) were studied. In four cases an insignificant number of markers were detected on the lymphoblast populations. In one case a significant number of blasts formed both sheep red blood cell rosettes and Fc rosettes, suggesting a T-cell origin for the neoplastic cells, and in another case the presence of Fc and C3 receptors on the lymphoblast population indicated a B-cell origin. In a further five cases 14-43% of the blasts had detectable surface immunoglobulin. It is concluded that A.L.L. is a heterogeneous disorder, some cases failing to express surface markers and others having either a T-or a B-lymphocyte origin or both.