CD40 ligation provides
signals central to chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cell survival and
proliferation. The release
of soluble CD40 (sCD40) may impact on both these signals and CD40 targeted
therapies. In this study we investigated the prognostic significance of plasma sCD40 inuntreated CLL patients (n=34). We report that 56% had levels
higher than those of normal donors and that elevated levels were associated
with significantly shorter treatment free (TFS) and overall survival. In
bivariate analysis sCD40 remained a significant marker of TFS independent of
Binet staging, CD38 positivity and lymphocyte count. RT-PCR analysis
demonstrated that CLL cells expressed transcripts encoding putative sCD40.
These results suggest sCD40 may play a role in CLL progression and that its
significance and potential impact on antibody based therapies should be further
Cite this paper
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