Background: CLL is characterized by a distinct pattern of translocations, genomic gains and losses and molecular mutations. The most frequent abnormalities such as trisomy 12 and deletions of 6q, 11q, 13q and 17p have been intensively studied. However, data on less frequent recurrent abnormalities such as the partial gain of the short arm of chromosome 2 is lacking.

Aims: a) Determine the frequency of 2p gain in CLL, b) Characterize the size and the commonly gained region, c) Analyze the spectrum of additional cytogenetic abnormalities and molecular mutations, and d) Evaluate the prognostic impact.

Patients and Methods: Chromosome banding analysis (CBA) revealed a gain of 2p in 113 out of 5564 (2%) CLL cases. In 72 cases with sufficient material genomic array analysis (SurePrint G3 ISCA CGH+SNP Microarray, Agilent, Waldbronn, Germany) and determination of the mutation status of TP53, SF3B1 and IGHV were performed.

Results:76% of patients with gain of 2p were male. The median WBC count was 33,700/µL (range: 5,900 - 228,000). Median age was 66 years (range: 29 - 87).

The gain of 2p always encompassed the 2p telomere (2pter) while the centromeric border of the 2p gain varied between 2p21 and the centromere of chromosome 2 (2p10) (genomic positions 45,859,076 to 92,297,003).

The gain of 2p was the sole chromosomal abnormality in only 8/72 cases (11%) and was accompanied by one, two or more than two additional aberrations in 10, 20, and 34 cases. In total 209 chromosome abnormalities were observed in addition to the 2p gain (median per patient: 2, range: 0-16). Of these only 21 were balanced while 188 were unbalanced abnormalities leading to gain or loss of chromosomal material. Gain of 2p was most frequently accompanied by deletions in 13q (total: 74%, homozygous: 11%), 11q (56%), 18p (18%), and 6q (13%) and gains of 8q (11%). 17p deletions were present in 6% of cases.

In 49 cases (68%) the gain of 2p was present in the main clone while it was present in a subclone only in 23 cases (32%). The gain of 2p material was due to a duplication in the short arm of chromosome 2 in 10 cases, while a gain of an isochromosome 2p was present in 3 cases. In the remaining cases material of the short arm of chromosome 2p was attached to a variety of different partner chromosomes. The most frequent acceptor chromosome was chromosome 18 (n=13; 18%).

In two cases (2%) 2 IGH rearrangements were observed of which one was mutated and the other unmutated. The IGHV status was unmutated (IGHV-U) in 66 (92%) and mutated in only 4 cases (6%). Three of these 4 cases with mutated IGHV showed only a low mutation rate (sequence homology to germline 97-97.9%). Stereotyped B-cell receptors were present in 14 cases (19%). SF3B1 mutations were observed in 21 cases (29%) with a median mutation load (ML) of 39% (range: 10-51%). TP53 mutations were detected in 8 (11%) cases (median ML: 60%, range: 13-100%). In 2 patients with a TP53 mutation a TP53 deletion was present and in 3 cases a copy neutral loss of heterozygosity (CN-LOH) of 17p was detected leading to TP53 wild-type loss in these 5 cases. TP53 mutations were less frequent in cases harboring the gain of 2p as the sole abnormality (3% vs 21%, p=0.02)

The prognostic impact of 2p gain was evaluated in an unselected cohort of 1381 CLL cases with available follow up data (median follow up: 5.1 years) including 22 cases with 2p gain. The frequency of IGHV-Ustatus, SF3B1 mutations and 11q/ATM deletions was significantly higher in CLL with 2p gain compared to cases without (for all p<0.05). In univariate Cox regression analysis gain of 2p was significantly associated with shorter overall survival (OS) (relative risk (RR): 2.1; p=0.05). 5 year OS was 69% in CLL with 2p gain compared to 85% in cases without 2p gain (p=0.05). However, in multivariate analysis only IGHV-U, mutations in SF3B1 and TP53 and TP53/17p deletion were independently associated with shorter OS, while gain of 2p and 11q/ATM deletion were not. 2p gain was associated with shorter time to treatment (TTT) (RR: 2.0; p=0.02). In multivariate analysis only IGHV-U, SF3B1 mutation and 11q/ATM and TP53/17p deletion were independently associated with shorter TTT, while gain of 2p and TP53 mutations were not.

Conclusions:CLL with gain of 2p is highly associated with an unmutated IGHV status (92%), a high frequency of 11q/ATM deletion (56%), 13q deletion (74%), SF3B1 mutation (29%) and a complex karyotype (47%). Data suggest that gain of 2p is a later event in CLL pathogenesis and might be a marker of progression.


Haferlach:MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory: Employment, Equity Ownership. Jeromin:MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory: Employment. Stengel:MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory: Employment. Meggendorfer:MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory: Employment. Zenger:MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory: Employment. Kern:MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory: Employment, Equity Ownership. Haferlach:MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory: Employment, Equity Ownership.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.

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