Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) represent phenotypically heterogeneous populations that suppress tumor-specific T-cell responses. MDSCs are produced from myeloid precursors in emergent states and are increased in several hematologic malignancies. We evaluated the differences in the levels and prognostic significance of MDSCs according to the clinical status of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The percentages and numbers of granulocytic (g)MDSCs and monocytic (m)MDSCs in peripheral blood (PB) and bone marrow (BM) aspirates were determined by five-color flow cytometry (HLA-DR/CD11b/ CD15/CD33/CD14). The median BM-gMDSC% and PB-gMDSC% of the CML group were lower than those of the complete hematologic response (CHR) and control groups (P < 0.001). In the CHR group, patients with major molecular response (MMR) showed higher median BM-gMDSC% than those without MMR (P = 0.039). Conversely, the PB-mMDSC number of the CML group was higher than those of the CHR and control groups (P < 0.001). Patients with high PB-gMDSC number exhibited superior survival to those with low PB-gMDSC number (P = 0.021), and patients with high PB-mMDSC% showed inferior survival to those with low PB-mMDSC%, but there was no statistical significance (P = 0.182). Increased gMDSCs at CHR may reflect non-leukemic granulopoiesis, and a high number of PB-gMDSCs suggests better prognosis in CML. However, mMDSCs may be associated with malignant conditions and poor prognosis.
- Chronic myeloid leukemia
- Complete hematologic response
- Granulocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cell
- Major molecular response
- Monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cell