Advances in flow cytometry techniques and the availability of monoclonal antibodies that detect key functional molecules on lymphocytes have contributed greatly to a more precise diagnosis of the chronic lymphoproliferative disorders. In addition to the diagnostic value, the expression of certain markers such as p53 or CD38 provides relevant prognostic information to the clinician. Beyond their diagnostic and prognostic value, immunological markers play a major role in the detection of minimal residual disease, enabling the clinician to estimate more accurately the response to chemotherapy. Those monoclonal antibodies that are relevant to the characterisation of the chronic lymphoproliferative disorders and that could be incorporated in a routine practice are discussed.
- monoclonal antibodies
- chronic lymphocytic leukaemia
- cyclin D1
- CLL, chronic lymphocytic leukaemia
- FISH, fluorescence in situ hybridisation
- Ig, immunoglobulin
- RT-PCR, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction
- TCR, T cell receptor
- VH, variable heavy
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