Nonrandom involvement of the 12p12 breakpoint in chromosome abnormalities of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Raimondi, S.C.; Williams, D.L.; Callihan, T.; Peiper, S.; Rivera, G.K.; Murphy, S.B.

Blood 68(1): 69-75


ISSN/ISBN: 0006-4971
PMID: 3459561
DOI: 10.1182/blood.v68.1.69.69
Accession: 005994186

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We studied the presenting clinical and biologic features of 23 children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) whose leukemic marrow karyotypes contained abnormalities involving the short arm of chromosome 12. Nineteen of the abnormalities were assigned to the 12p12 breakpoint. The median age of the children was 5 years (range 2 to 13 years) and their initial leukocyte counts ranged from 1,800 to 424,000/microL (median 30,000/microL). Twenty-one patients (91%) had common phenotype ALL (CALLA+, HLA-DR+), including three cases with a pre-B cell phenotype (CIg+). The remaining two cases were T cell in origin. The French-American-British (FAB) morphologic type of lymphoblastic leukemia was L1 in all cases but one. With a median follow-up of 11 months, four patients have relapsed and another failed induction therapy. The modal chromosome number in all cases was less than 50. Three distinct cytogenetic patterns, with apparently similar clinical manifestations, were noted: terminal deletions of chromosome 12 in 10 cases, apparently balanced reciprocal translocations in 6, and unbalanced translocations in 7. All translocations were between the 12p arm and different donor chromosomes except for chromosomes 7, 9, and 17, which participated twice. Only two patients had identical translocations: t(7;12)(q11;p12). This unusual variation in donor chromosomes and breakpoints suggests that translocations involving the 12p are specific with respect to only one member of the translocation pair, namely chromosome 12. The relatively high frequency of the 12p abnormalities in this study (10% of all completely banded cases seen over a 35-month period) warrants further investigation.