Homozygous deletion of CDKN2A (p16, p14) and CDKN2B (p15) genes is a poor prognostic factor in adult but not in childhood B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a comparative deletion and hypermethylation study.
The biological behavior of childhood B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) is different from that of adults. We performed a comprehensive analysis of the deletion and the methylation profile of CDKN2A (hereafter identified separately as p16 and p14, for the different proteins encoded) and CDKN2B (hereafter p15) in 91 newly diagnosed B-ALL patients (61 children, 30 adults). The prognostic significance of the profiles of these genes and the association between alterations in these genes and known cytogenetic prognostic factors (BCR/ABL; ETV6/RUNX1, formerly TEL/AML1; MLL rearrangement; and ploidy changes of chromosomes) were also assessed. The prevalence of homozygous deletion, hemizygous deletion, and no deletion of the 9p21 region was 11.5%, 16.4%, and 72.1%, respectively, in children and 30.0%, 20.0%, and 50.0%, respectively, in adults; the higher incidence of homozygous deletion in adults was significant (P=0.029). Homozygous deletion was associated with poor overall survival in adults (P=0.019), but not in children. The incidence of promoter methylation of p16, p14, and p15 was 34.4%, 14.8%, and 34.4%, respectively, in children and 26.7%, 10.0%, and 40.0%, respectively, in adults, with no significant difference between the two groups. No significant association was observed between deletion and methylation or with known cytogenetic prognostic factors. The difference in incidence, distribution, and prognostic effect of homozygous deletion in children and adults may explain the prognostic disparity.