Abstract 3244

Poster Board III-181

Recent genome-wide profiling studies have revealed that childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is characterized by recurrent microdeletions, including the cell cycle regulator CDKN2A, the B-cell differentiation genes PAX5, EBF1 and IKZF1 (Ikaros) and the anti-proliferative gene B-cell translocation gene 1 (BTG1). In a previous study, we have shown that BTG1 is an important determinant of glucocorticoid sensitivity (Van Galen et al. Blood/ ASH Annual Meeting Abstracts, 2008). In the present study we have characterized these cases in more detail and elucidated the frequency of recurrent lesions in BTG1 deletion cases. Using locus-specific MLPA screening of an unselected cohort of 305 precursor B-ALL cases, we identified 26 microdeletions (8.5%). All deletions encompassed BTG1 only. We were able to genomically profile 22 diagnosis samples using Affimetrix SNP6.0 arrays. Of these, 12 did not develop a relapse during a minimal of 4,5 years of follow up. The mean number of CNVs was 29.6 of which 10.3 gains and 22.5 losses (median size 512 kb and 115 kb respectively). BTG1 deletions were generally focal, varying in size from 104 kb to 1,4 Mb. In all but one patient the breakpoints at the 5' end of the deletion tightly clustered and subsequent fine-mapping using qPCR revealed that this breakpoint cluster was located within intron 1 of the BTG1 gene. At the 3'end of the deletion, four breakpoint clusters could be identified. Analysis of the copy number variation (CNV) profiles showed that patients with a BTG1 deletion more often harbored a deletion in IKZF1 compared to an unselected cohort of pre-B ALL cases (27% vs 7%, chi-square p=0.042). In contrast, recurrent CNVs like PAX5, EBF1 and CDKN2A/B occur in similar frequencies (23%, 9% and 32% vs 17%, 0% and 23% respectively). In addition, the BTG1 deletion cases that developed into a relapse showed significantly more often a deletion in CDKN2A/B compared to the BTG1 deletion cases that did not develop a relapse (60% vs 8%, p=0.02). Together, these data indicate that pediatric precursor-B ALL carrying BTG1 deletions have distinct genomic profiles, showing increased frequencies of deletions in IKZF1 and CDKN2A.


No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.