Recent studies have identified a high frequency of recurrent acquired DNA copy number abnormalities in pediatric ALL, most commonly involving genes regulating lymphoid development (

). The majority of B-progenitor ALL cases in this study harbored recurring chromosomal abnormalities such as hyperdiploidy and recurring translocations, many of which are associated with favorable outcome. Data from large cohorts of poor risk B-ALL have not been reported. Here we report genomic profiling data from a cohort of 221 pediatric ALL cases treated on the Children’s Oncology Group P9906 study from 2000–2003 with an augmented BFM regimen (
N Engl J Med
). The study targeted poor prognosis ALL cases, using age/WBC criteria designed to identify a subset of patients with NCI high risk ALL that historically had a very poor outcome. Cases with favorable (trisomy 4 + 10; ETV6-RUNX1) or unfavorable (BCR-ABL1 or hypodiploid) genetic features were excluded. The cohort included 25 TCF3-PBX1 and 19 MLL-rearranged cases. Profiling of DNA copy number abnormalities was performed using Affymetrix 250k Sty and Nsp arrays, reference normalization, dChipSNP, and circular binary segmentation. Germline SNP array data was available for 210 cases. The most frequent abnormalities were deletions of CDKN2A in 101 cases (45.7%), the B-lineage transcription factors PAX5 (N=68, 30.5%) and IKZF1 (Ikaros, N=32, 14.5%), ETV6 (N=29, 13.1%), RB1 (N=25, 11.3%), BTG1 (N=23, 10.4%), the tumor suppressor candidate TSC22D1 (N=20, 9%), the microRNA cluster at 13q14 (N=19, 8.6%), and deletion (N=3) or amplification (N=20, 4 focal, 16 broad) of the retinoic acid pathway gene CCDC26. Other recurring copy number abnormalities with relevance to leukemogenesis included deletions of BTLA, EBF, IL3RA, ERG, TOX, RAG1/2, KRAS, NRAS, NR3C2 and the adenosine deaminase pathway genes ADAR and ADARB2. An unexpected finding was focal deletion involving DMD (dystrophin) at Xp21.1 in 15 (6.8%) cases. Copy number abnormalities were uncommon in MLL rearranged leukemias, suggesting that fewer secondary mutations are needed for leukemogenesis in this genetic subtype of ALL. Clustering of copy number data using non-negative matrix factorization identified 11 clusters of cases, including clusters driven by isochromosome 7q, deletions of 9p, gains of 1q, multiple whole chromosomal gains, and intrachromosomal amplification of chromosome 21 (iamp21). These findings confirm the high frequency of deletions involving genes regulating B cell development and cell cycle such as PAX5 and CDKN2A in both standard and poor risk B-ALL. Furthermore ETV6 (TEL) deletions are shown to be common in B-ALL cases lacking the ETV6-RUNX1 translocation. The identification of novel recurring abnormalities (IL3RA, KRAS, NRAS) emphasizes the importance of high resolution copy number analysis in leukemia. These data are being integrated with gene expression data to select genes for resequencing as part of the TARGET project.

Author notes

Disclosure:Research Funding: 1. Roche-sponsored gene expression profiling research unrelated to the current studies. 2. St. Jude co-owns a pending patent application with the University of Mississippi (Pub. No. 2004/0018513) drawn to leukemia gene expression profiling which has been nonexclusively licensed to Affymetrix. Membership Information: Board of Scientific Consultants for the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (J.R.D.). C.G.M. spoke at an Affymetrix symposium in 2007.