We report here the case of a sixty-eight-year old woman with chronic myeloid leukemia. Molecular techniques identified the presence of the rare e19a2 BCR-ABL1 transcript. The patient was treated by 1(st) generation tyrosine-kinase inhibitor (TKI) (imatinib). Disease monitoring was performed by cytogenetic analyses and quantification of the BCR-ABL1 transcript. After 3 months, the treatment was modified due to an absence of biological response and poor tolerance. After 21 months with 2nd generation TKIs (nilotinib), the patient was responding optimally to treatment, with a complete cytogenetic response and a major molecular response. This observation emphasizes the importance of determining the chromosomal breakpoints at diagnosis to enable adequate molecular monitoring of residual disease. Careful monitoring of minimal residual disease is important to thoroughly assess the response to treatment, detect resistance and adapt the therapeutic strategy. The kinetics and the depth of the response to TKI also represent major prognostic factors. Molecular monitoring is performed using real-time quantitative PCR, which has to be adapted to each type of transcript. For rare BCR-ABL1 transcripts, an international standardization, as it is developed for conventional transcripts, is lacking. Yet, such a harmonization would be useful to assess in an optimal and large scale way the response to TKI in these patients, and to determine what the best management is.
Deletions of the long arm of chromosome 14 [del(14q)] are rare but recurrently observed in mature B-cell neoplasms, particularly in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). To further characterize this aberration, we studied 81 cases with del(14q): 54 of CLL and 27 of small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL), the largest reported series to date. Using karyotype and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), the most frequent additional abnormality was trisomy 12 (tri12), observed in 28/79 (35%) cases, followed by del13q14 (12/79, 15%), delTP53 (11/80, 14%) delATM (5/79, 6%), and del6q21 (3/76, 4%). IGHV genes were unmutated in 41/53 (77%) patients, with a high frequency of IGHV1-69 (21/52, 40%). NOTCH1 gene was mutated in 14/45 (31%) patients. There was no significant difference in cytogenetic and molecular abnormalities between CLL and SLL. Investigations using FISH and SNP-array demonstrated the heterogeneous size of the 14q deletions. However, a group with the same del(14)(q24.1q32.33) was identified in 48% of cases. In this group, tri12 (P = 0.004) and NOTCH1 mutations (P = 0.02) were significantly more frequent than in the other patients. In CLL patients with del(14q), median treatment-free survival (TFS) was 27 months. In conclusion, del(14q) is associated with tri12 and with pejorative prognostic factors: unmutated IGHV genes (with over-representation of the IGHV1-69 repertoire), NOTCH1 mutations, and a short TFS.
In systemic mastocytosis (SM), clinical problems arise from factor-independent proliferation of mast cells (MCs) and the increased release of mediators by MCs, but no human cell line model for studying MC activation in the context of SM is available. We have created a stable stem cell factor (SCF) -dependent human MC line, ROSA(KIT WT), expressing a fully functional immunoglobulin E (IgE) receptor. Transfection with KIT D816V converted ROSA(KIT WT) cells into an SCF-independent clone, ROSA(KIT D816V), which produced a mastocytosis-like disease in NSG mice. Although several signaling pathways were activated, ROSA(KIT D816V) did not exhibit an increased, but did exhibit a decreased responsiveness to IgE-dependent stimuli. Moreover, NSG mice bearing ROSA(KIT D816V)-derived tumors did not show mediator-related symptoms, and KIT D816V-positive MCs obtained from patients with SM did not show increased IgE-dependent histamine release or CD63 upregulation. Our data show that KIT D816V is a disease-propagating oncoprotein, but it does not activate MCs to release proinflammatory mediators, which may explain why mediator-related symptoms in SM occur preferentially in the context of a coexisting allergy. ROSA(KIT D816V) may provide a valuable tool for studying the pathogenesis of mastocytosis and should facilitate the development of novel drugs for treating SM patients.
Whether sex chromosome loss (SCL) is an age-related phenomenon or a cytogenetic marker of hematological disease is unclear. To address this issue in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), we investigated 20 cases with X or Y chromosome loss detected by conventional cytogenetics (CC). The frequency of SCL was low in CLL (2.3%). It was the sole abnormality, as detected by CC, in 10/20 (50%) patients. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analyses confirmed SCL in all patients tested, present in 5-88% of cells (median: 68%). Deletions of 13q were observed by FISH in 16/20 (80%) patients. Compared with CLL without SCL, SCL was significantly associated with 13q deletion, especially when bi-allelic (P = 0.04). Co-hybridization analyses showed that SCL could be a concomitant, primary or secondary change, or be present in an independent clone. FISH analyses were performed on blood sub-populations isolated by Ficoll or flow cytometry. Comparing mononuclear cells (including CLL cells) and polynuclear cells separated by Ficoll, a maximum of 2% of polynuclear cells were found with SCL, whereas mononuclear cells exhibited a significantly higher loss frequency (range: 6-87%) (P = 0.03). Comparing B-cells (including CLL cells) and T-cells sorted by flow cytometry, the proportion of B-CD19+ cells with SCL was significantly higher (range: 88-96%) than that observed in T-CD3+ cells (range: 2-6%) (P = 0.008). We conclude that SCL has to be considered as a clonal aberration in CLL that may participate in the oncogenic process.
Chromosomal translocations involving the immunoglobulin heavy chain locus (IGH@) are recurrent but rare in B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL), and various partner genes have been described. Here, we report a new series of 29 cases of BCP-ALL with IGH@ translocations. The partner gene was identified by fluorescence in situ hybridization and/or molecular cloning in 20 patients. Members of the CEBP gene family (n = 11), BCL2 (n = 3), ID4 (n = 3), EPOR (n = 2), and TRA/D@ (n = 1) were identified and demonstrated by quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction to be markedly up-regulated. The present cases, added to those already reported, confirm the diversity of the partner genes, which, apart from BCL2, are specific to BCP-ALL. Collectively, patients with IGH@ translocations may represent a novel sub-group of BCP-ALL occurring in adolescents and young adults.
Fluorescence in situ hybridization was performed to characterize 81 cases of myeloid and lymphoid malignancies with cytogenetic 1p36 alterations not affecting the PRDM16 locus. In total, three subgroups were identified: balanced translocations (N?=?27) and telomeric rearrangements (N?=?15), both mainly observed in myeloid disorders; and unbalanced non-telomeric rearrangements (N?=?39), mainly observed in lymphoid proliferations and frequently associated with a highly complex karyotype. The 1p36 rearrangement was isolated in 12 cases, mainly myeloid disorders. The breakpoints on 1p36 were more widely distributed than previously reported, but with identifiable rare breakpoint cluster regions, such as the TP73 locus. We also found novel partner loci on 1p36 for the known multi-partner genes HMGA2 and RUNX1. We precised the common terminal 1p36 deletion, which has been suggested to have an adverse prognosis, in B-cell lymphomas [follicular lymphomas and diffuse large B-cell lymphomas with t(14;18)(q32;q21) as well as follicular lymphomas without t(14;18)]. Intrachromosomal telomeric repetitive sequences were detected in at least half the cases of telomeric rearrangements. It is unclear how the latter rearrangements occurred and whether they represent oncogenic events or result from chromosomal instability during oncogenesis.
Translocations involving MYC are rare in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and up to now, their prognostic significance remains unclear. We report the characteristics of 21 patients with CLL and nine patients with prolymphocytic leukemia (PLL), diagnosed in multiple centers (n = 13), which showed an MYC translocation demonstrated by fluorescence in situ hybridization. The prevalence was estimated to be <1%. Advanced age and male predominance were observed. Morphological analysis frequently revealed the presence of prolymphocytes. A typical "CLL-immunophenotype" was found in four of nine cases with PLL. Moreover, CD5 and CD23 were frequently expressed in PLL. The latter findings are atypical for PLL and may suggest transformation or progression of an underlying CLL. MYC translocations were frequently observed with concomitant adverse cytogenetic markers, such as del(11q) (n = 8/30) and/or del(17p)/monosomy 17 (n = 7/30). In addition, the presence of unbalanced translocations (n = 24 in 13/30 cases) and complex karyotype (n = 16/30) were frequent in cases with MYC translocations. Altogether, del(17p)/monosomy 17, del(11q), and/or complex karyotype were observed in 22 of 30 patients. Survival outcome was poor: the median time to treatment was only 5 months, and overall survival (OS) from clinical diagnosis and from genetic detection was 71 and 19 months, respectively. In conclusion, CLL/PLL with MYC translocations is a rare entity, which seems to be associated with adverse prognostic features and unfavorable outcome.
Chromosomal translocations are usually analyzed as a single entity, and are associated with a poor outcome in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Translocations involving immunoglobulin genes are recurrent, but uncommon (<5%), and their individual prognosis is not clear. The two most frequent partners are BCL2 (18q21) and BCL3 (19q13).
Long-term responses have been reported after autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). We conducted a prospective, randomized trial of ASCT in previously untreated CLL patients. We enrolled 241 patients < 66 years of age with Binet stage B or C CLL. They received 3 courses of mini-CHOP (cyclophosphamide, hydroxydaunorubicin, oncovin, and prednisone/prednisolone) and then 3 courses of fludarabine. Patients in complete response (CR) were then randomized to ASCT or observation, whereas the other patients were randomized to dexamethasone, high-dose aracytin, cisplatin (DHAP) salvage followed by either ASCT or 3 courses of fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide (FC). The primary end point was event-free survival (EFS). After up-front treatment, 105 patients entered CR and were randomized between ASCT (n = 52) and observation (n = 53); their respective 3-year EFS rates were 79.8% and 35.5%; the adjusted hazard ratio was 0.3 (95% CI: 0.1-0.7; P = .003). Ninety-four patients who did not enter CR were randomized between ASCT (n = 46) and FC (n = 48); their respective 3-year EFS rates were 48.9% and 44.4%, respectively; the adjusted hazard ratio was 1.7 (95% CI: 0.9-3.2; P = .13). No difference in overall survival was found between the 2 response subgroups. In young CLL patients in CR, ASCT consolidation markedly delayed disease progression. No difference was observed between ASCT and FC in patients requiring DHAP salvage.
Evolution to myelofibrosis (MF), acute myeloid leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome (AML/MDS) may occur over time in myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) patients most likely due to the acquisition of additional mutations. The Groupe Francophone de cytogenetique hematologique (GFCH) has collected and reviewed 82 patients with transformation of MPN (66 AML/MDS and 16 MF). JAK2V617F and TET2 mutations were searched for in 40 and 32 patients, respectively. Significantly more -7/del(7q) (P = 0.004) and -5/del(5q) (P = 0.03) were found in AML/MDS with a higher incidence of dup1q (P = 0.01) in MF. Some specific chromosomal abnormalities occurred together, for example -5/del(5q) and -17/del(17p) (P = 0.0007). In multivariate analysis, two factors were independently associated with an inferior overall survival (OS); AML/MDS transformation (P < 0.0001) and -5/del(5q) abnormality (P = 0.02). Although both giving rise to loss of 7q, der(1;7) differed from other 7q deletions in terms of distribution (lower frequency of AML/MDS, P = 0.02), association with chromosomal abnormalities (absence of -5/del(5q), P = 0.003; increased del(20q), P = 0.05), and longer OS (P = 0.0007). We detected 24/40 (60%) JAK2V617F and 8/25 (32%) TET2 mutations in samples following transformation, ranging from wild-type to mutated forms of both genes. The mutated and wild-type forms of the genes were not found to be associated with a specific chromosomal abnormality. There was no evidence that JAK2 or TET2 mutations were associated with the type of MPN transformation, whereas the type of cytogenetic abnormalities were strongly linked, perhaps indicating that they play a specific role in the transformation process.
We report 2 novel, cryptic chromosomal abnormalities in precursor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL): a translocation, either t(X;14)(p22;q32) or t(Y;14)(p11;q32), in 33 patients and an interstitial deletion, either del(X)(p22.33p22.33) or del(Y)(p11.32p11.32), in 64 patients, involving the pseudoautosomal region (PAR1) of the sex chromosomes. The incidence of these abnormalities was 5% in childhood ALL (0.8% with the translocation, 4.2% with the deletion). Patients with the translocation were older (median age, 16 years), whereas the patients with the deletion were younger (median age, 4 years). The 2 abnormalities result in deregulated expression of the cytokine receptor, cytokine receptor-like factor 2, CRLF2 (also known as thymic stromal-derived lymphopoietin receptor, TSLPR). Overexpression of CRLF2 was associated with activation of the JAK-STAT pathway in cell lines and transduced primary B-cell progenitors, sustaining their proliferation and indicating a causal role of CRLF2 overexpression in lymphoid transformation. In Down syndrome (DS) ALL and 2 non-DS BCP-ALL cell lines, CRLF2 deregulation was associated with mutations of the JAK2 pseudokinase domain, suggesting oncogenic cooperation as well as highlighting a link between non-DS ALL and JAK2 mutations.
Several prognostic factors can predict the rapid progression in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), including IGHV mutational status, cytogenetic abnormalities and, more recently, LPL/ADAM29 expression. In contrast, few studies have been devoted to the influence of these factors on clinical outcome in responding patients after therapy. We here propose to analyse the impact of IGHV gene status, LPL and ADAM29 gene expression on disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) in 41 stage B or C CLL patients in remission after oral fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide. The median follow-up was of 64 (16-74) months. Sequencing of IGHV showed mutated (M) VH genes in 16 of 41 cases and unmutated (UM) in 25 cases. Analysis of LPL and ADAM29 expression in 35 of 41 cases showed overexpression of ADAM29 in 17 cases (14 M and three UM) and LPL in 18 cases (all UM). Patients expressing UM IGHV and LPL had shorter DFS and OS when compared to patients expressing M IGHV and/or ADAM29. Furthermore, blood minimal residual disease (MRD) evaluation using four-colour flow cytometry was performed in 33 out the 41 patients. We showed that patients who achieved phenotypic remission displayed longer DFS than those with MRD(+). Our results support the use of LPL and ADAM29 gene expression associated to IGHV mutational status for predicting the clinical outcome of patients treated by oral fludarabine + cyclophosphamide and could be considered for treatment strategies.
Using array-based CGH, we identified 2p gain in 22/78 (28%) untreated Binet stages B/C CLL, which was the second most frequent copy number change after 13q deletion. It never occurred as a sole abnormality and was associated with other changes (6q deletion; 1p gain). The region of 2p gain frequently included two oncogenes, REL and MYCN. All patients with gain of REL were unmutated for IGHV (p=0.03). Gain of MYCN was associated with increased mRNA expression (p=0.005), suggesting a pathogenic role for MYCN. Gain of 2p appears to be a marker of progression and may contribute to the poor prognosis.
Waldenströms macroglobulinemia is a disease of mature B cells, the genetic basis of which is poorly understood. Few recurrent chromosomal abnormalities have been reported, and their prognostic value is not known. We conducted a prospective cytogenetic study of Waldenströms macroglobulinemia and examined the prognostic value of chromosomal aberrations in an international randomized trial. The main aberrations were 6q deletions (30%), trisomy 18 (15%), 13q deletions (13%), 17p (TP53) deletions (8%), trisomy 4 (8%), and 11q (ATM) deletions (7%). There was a significant association between trisomy of chromosome 4 and trisomy of chromosome 18. Translocations involving the IGH genes were rare (<5%). Deletion of 6q and 11q, and trisomy 4, were significantly associated with adverse clinical and biological parameters. Patients with TP53 deletion had short progression-free survival and short disease-free survival. Although rare (<5%), trisomy 12 was associated with short progression-free survival. In conclusion, the cytogenetic profile of Waldenströms macroglobulinemia appears to differ from that of other B-cell lymphomas. Chromosomal abnormalities may help with diagnosis and prognostication, in conjunction with other clinical and biological characteristics.
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