Trisomy 12 chronic lymphocytic leukemia expresses a unique set of activated and targetable pathways.

Abruzzo LV, Herling CD, Calin GA, Oakes C, Barron LL, Banks HE, Katju V, Keating MJ, Coombes KR
Haematologica in press 07/05/2018


Although +12 chronic lymphocytic leukemia comprises about 20% of cases, relatively little is known about its pathophysiology. These cases often demonstrate atypical morphologic and immunophenotypic features, high proliferative rates, unmutated immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region genes, and a high frequency of NOTCH1 mutation. Patients with +12 chronic lymphocytic leukemia have an intermediate prognosis, and show higher incidences of thrombocytopenia, Richter's transformation, and other second cancers. Despite these important differences, relatively few transcriptional profiling studies have focused on identifying dysregulated pathways that characterize +12 chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and most have used a hierarchical cytogenetic classification in which cases with more than one recurrent abnormality are categorized according to the abnormality with the poorest prognosis. In this study, we sought to identity protein-coding genes whose expression contributes to the unique pathophysiology of +12 chronic lymphocytic leukemia. To exclude the likely confounding effects of multiple cytogenetic abnormalities on gene expression, our +12 patient cohort had +12 as the sole abnormality. We profiled samples obtained from 147 treatment-naive patients. We compared cases with +12 as the sole cytogenetic abnormality to cases with sole del(13q), del(11q), or diploid cytogenetics using independent discovery (n=97) and validation (n=50) sets. We demonstrate that chronic lymphocytic leukemia cases with +12 as the sole abnormality express a unique set of activated pathways compared to other cytogenetic subtypes. Among these pathways, we identify the NFAT signaling pathways and the immune checkpoint molecule, NT5E (CD73), which may represent new therapeutic targets.

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