Researchers developed a method to measure standardized intracellular reactive oxygen species (siROS) levels in the CD34+ bone marrow cells of patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Using this technique, they observed that high serum ferritin, high blast count, and poor international prognostic scoring system (IPSS) scores were associated with worse acute myeloid leukemia (AML) progression and overall survival outcomes in their study cohort. The report was published in Hematology.
According to the lead author, Lap Shu Alan Chan, the study’s findings “established the siROS profile in early hematopoietic cells of MDS patients and its relationship with blast count and iron overload.”
Researchers used the fluorescent probe dichlorofluorescein (DCF) to measure siROS level in lymphocytes and bone marrow (BM) CD34+ hematopoietic progenitors. Thirty-eight BM samples from 27 patients with MDS were analyzed over the course of 10 months.
The study reported that patients with MDS with high blast count had lower siROS in their BM CD34+ cells than patients with low blast count, which was “consistent with increased reliance on glycolysis and enhanced ROS defense in high blast MDS,” according to the authors. They also observed that BM CD34+ cells of high blast count patients had narrower siROS distribution, which suggested an association between loss of ROS heterogeneity and progression of MDS. Finally, a strong correlation between CD34+ cells siROS and serum ferritin level in high blast count patients was seen in the cohort.
The authors stated that, by standardizing iROS measurements against normal lymphocytes, they were able to uncover the various associations stated in their results. They also noted that iron chelation therapy successfully reduced serum ferritin and siROS levels in one patient in their cohort, signaling a direction for further research.