This process analyses the types of antigens or markers on the surface of the leukaemia cells. It quantifies which antibodies to the antigens are present in the patient’s blood. This allows identification of the type of leukaemia.
Immunophenotyping involves the use of a device called a flow cytometer. A blood sample containing leukaemia cells is suspended in a fluid, and run through the flow cytometer. It can rapidly analyse and quantify the types of antigens on the surface of the leukaemia cells.
Common cluster differentiation proteins seen in on the cells of CML patients are CD7, CD13, CD33, and CD34.