Blood Res 2018; 53(3): 198-204
The prognostic impact of lymphocyte subsets in newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia
Yumi Park1, Jinsook Lim1, Seonyoung Kim1, Ikchan Song2, Kyechul Kwon1, Sunhoe Koo1, Jimyung Kim1
1Department of Laboratory Medicine, 2Department of Hemato-Oncology, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon, Korea
Correspondence to: Jimyung Kim, M.D. Department of Laboratory Medicine, Chungnam National University Hospital, 282 Moonhwa-ro, Joong-gu, Daejeon 35015, Korea E-mail:
Received: August 2, 2017; Revised: March 6, 2018; Accepted: May 10, 2018; Published online: September 30, 2018.
© The Korean Journal of Hematology. All rights reserved.

cc This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, which form a part of the host immune system, affect the development and progression of cancer. This study investigated whether subsets of lymphocytes reflecting host-tumor immunologic interactions are related to the prognosis of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
Lymphocyte subsets in the peripheral blood of 88 patients who were newly diagnosed with AML were analyzed by quantitative flow cytometry. The relationships of lymphocyte subsets with AML subtypes, genetic risk, and clinical courses were analyzed.
The percentages of T and NK cells differed between patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) and those with AML with myelodysplasia-related changes. In non-APL, a high proportion of NK cells (>16.6%) was associated with a higher rate of death before remission (P=0.0438), whereas a low proportion of NK cells (≤9.4%) was associated with higher rates of adverse genetic abnormalities (P=0.0244) and relapse (P=0.0567). A multivariate analysis showed that the lymphocyte subsets were not independent predictors of survival.
Lymphocyte subsets at diagnosis differ between patients with different specific subtypes of AML. A low proportion of NK cells is associated with adverse genetic abnormalities, whereas a high proportion is related to death before remission. However, the proportion of NK cells may not show independent correlations with survival.
Keywords: Acute myeloid leukemia, Lymphocyte subset, NK cells, Prognosis


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