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Front Oncol ; 9: 245, 2019.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31024847


Acute leukemia is a heterogeneous set of diseases affecting children and adults. Current prognostic factors are not accurate predictors of the clinical outcome of adult patients and the stratification of risk groups remains insufficient. For that reason, this study proposes a multifactorial analysis which integrates clinical parameters, ex vivo tumor characterization and behavioral in vivo analysis in zebrafish. This model represents a new approach to understand leukemic primary cells behavior and features associated with aggressiveness and metastatic potential. Xenotransplantation of primary samples from patients newly diagnosed with acute leukemia in zebrafish embryos at 48 hpf was used to asses survival rate, dissemination pattern, and metastatic potential. Seven samples from young adults classified in adverse, favorable or intermediate risk group were characterized. Tumor heterogeneity defined by Leukemic stem cell (LSC) proportion, was performed by metabolic and cell membrane biomarkers characterization. Thus, our work combines all these parameters with a robust quantification strategy that provides important information about leukemia biology, their relationship with specific niches and the existent inter and intra-tumor heterogeneity in acute leukemia. In regard to prognostic factors, leukemic stem cell proportion and Patient-derived xenografts (PDX) migration into zebrafish were the variables with highest weights for the prediction analysis. Higher ALDH activity, less differentiated cells and a broader and random migration pattern are related with worse clinical outcome after induction chemotherapy. This model also recapitulates multiple aspects of human acute leukemia and therefore is a promising tool to be employed not only for preclinical studies but also supposes a new tool with a higher resolution compared to traditional methods for an accurate stratification of patients into worse or favorable clinical outcome.