Please note the WHO 1st International Genetic Reference Panel for the quantitation of BCR-ABL1 translocation (09/138) is typically restricted to laboratories calibrating secondary standards or kits/assays to be used by others.
Other laboratories may consider participating in a sample exchange program with a validated laboratory, accessing secondary standards (currently region-dependent, for example the Programme for Harmonization to International Scale (Ph-IS) in Latin America), or using a commercial BCR-ABL1 International Scale kit (for example, Asuragen QuantideX® qPCR BCR-ABL IS Kit, Cepheid Xpert® BCR-ABL Ultra, QIAGEN ipsogen BCR-ABL1 Mbcr RGQ RT-PCR Kit CE, QIAGEN ipsogen BCR-ABL1 Mbcr IS-MMR Kits CE or Bio-Rad QXDx BCR-ABL %IS Kit). To avoid disappointment, you may wish to contact us before placing an order at firstname.lastname@example.orgNIBSC is not responsible for the content of any external websites, and does not endorse and is not affiliated with any of the listed products and/or manufacturers.
Chronic myelogenous leukaemia (CML) [OMIM #608232] represents about 15-20% of all cases of adult leukaemia and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) [OMIM #601626] accounts for approximately 80 per cent of all childhood leukaemia cases.
Nearly all cases of CML and a minority of cases of ALL are caused by a t(9;22) (q34;q11) chromosome translocation – known as the Philadelphia chromosome – which fuses 2 genes: BCR and ABL1. The BCR-ABL1 fusion acts as an oncogene and promotes genomic instability.
The advent of effective chemotherapy for CML in the late 1990s immediately demonstrated the need for accurate measurement of the amount of the abnormal clone remaining in the patient. This became known as the measurement of minimal residual disease (MRD) and quickly became the most useful measurement in monitoring the effectiveness of treatment in individual patients.
Measurement of MRD is routinely performed by reverse-transcription real-time PCR (RT-PCR) by quantifying levels of BCR-ABL1 mRNA transcripts in peripheral blood and bone marrow samples. The technique can determine accurately the response to treatment and is particularly valuable for patients who have achieved complete chromosomal remission. Despite efforts to establish standardised protocols for BCR-ABL1 fusion transcript quantitation there is still substantial variation in the way in which RT-PCR for BCR-ABL1 is carried out and how results are reported in different laboratories world-wide.
The amount of BCR-ABL1 translocation is usually measured by comparison with the level of a normal control gene transcript. However, this is the limit of conformity and several different control genes, assay methods and reporting strategies are in use by different groups around the world.
There was a clear need for standardisation of measurement and at the same time the relationship between BCR-ABL1 levels and clinical outcome needed to be established. The IRIS trial established a standard baseline for measurement – (100% BCR-ABL1 on the ‘international scale’) and a major molecular response (good response to therapy) was defined as a 3-log reduction in the amount of BCR-ABL1 – 0.1% BCR-ABL1 on the international scale.
However, the samples used to define these values were quickly exhausted and traceability relied on the internal QC data of one laboratory in Adelaide. Other laboratories wishing to align their results with the international scale could do so by exchanging samples with the Adelaide laboratory and by this process conversion factors were established for several laboratories.
Subsequently one more laboratory in Mannheim has become able to derive conversion factors and although this system works well, it is very laborious and consequently only open to a limited number of laboratories at any given time.
The collaborative validation study has assigned BCR-ABL1 / BCR; BCR-ABL1 / ABL1; BCR-ABL1 /GUSB values for four different freeze-dried cellular materials, each containing different amounts of BCR-ABL1. The materials consist of 4 different dilutions of K562 cells (Philadelphia chromosome positive) in HL60 cells (Philadelphia chromosome negative). Alignment of these materials with the pre-existing international scale is vital to allow consistent and comparable quantitative data to be obtained in all countries. The values have been assigned by a small number of expert laboratories who have been able to show that their conversion factor – which allows them to convert their local results to the international scale – is stable over time.
Mean µg RNA yield after extraction
BCR-ABL1 / ABL1
BCR-ABL1 / BCR
The panel comprises four different dilutions of K562 cells (Philadelphia chromosome positive) in HL60 cells (Philadelphia chromosome negative). Samples are presented as approximately 1.5x10E6 cells freeze-dried genomic DNA in glass ampoules. The collaborative validation study data indicates that these materials are suitable for use in RNA extraction and subsequent Q-PCR assays to quantitate the BCR-ABL1 fusion gene transcript.
White HE et al. (2010) Establishment of the 1st World Health Organisation International Genetic Reference Panel for quantitation of BCR-ABL mRNA. Blood. 116(22):e111-7.
Dr Ross Hawkins – Section Head Dr Ravneet BhullerMr Malcolm Hawkins Dr Leandro Lo CascioMr Noble OssaiDr Pia SanzoneMr Miltiades Stylianou
09/138: BCR-ABL1 (WHO)Other genomic reference materials
Further information on ordering genomic reference materials from NIBSC.