Childhood Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)
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Childhood Leukaemia

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Latest Research Publications

This list of publications is regularly updated (Source: PubMed).

Eskandari-Nasab E, Hashemi M, Hasani SS, et al.
Evaluation of functional RAGE gene polymorphisms in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia-A case-control study from Iran.
Nucleosides Nucleotides Nucleic Acids. 2017; 36(3):170-180 [PubMed] Related Publications
We examined the possible relationship between three RAGE polymorphisms, -429C/T, -374 T/A, and 63-bp deletion, and susceptibility to childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in an Iranian population. This study included 75 ALL patients and 115 healthy subjects. Genotyping was performed using HEXA-ARMS-polymerase chain reaction. We found no significant association among RAGE gene polymorphisms and the risk for ALL at genotype, allelic and haplotype levels (P > 0.05). The hemoglobin levels were higher in patients with RAGE -374 TT than in the TA carriers (P = 0.019). Our results demonstrated that the RAGE gene variations were not associated with risk of pediatrics ALL.

Related: Polymorphisms

Serravalle S, Bertuccio SN, Astolfi A, et al.
Synergistic Cytotoxic Effect of L-Asparaginase Combined with Decitabine as a Demethylating Agent in Pediatric T-ALL, with Specific Epigenetic Signature.
Biomed Res Int. 2016; 2016:1985750 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
T-Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (T-ALL) remains a subgroup of pediatric ALL, with a lower response to standard chemotherapy. Some recent studies established the fundamental role of epigenetic aberrations such as DNA hypermethylation, to influence patients' outcome and response to chemotherapy. Moreover, L-asparaginase is an important chemotherapeutic agent for treatment of ALL and resistance to this drug has been linked to ASNS expression, which can be silenced through methylation. Therefore, we tested whether the sensitivity of T-ALL cell lines towards L-asparaginase is correlated to the epigenetic status of ASNS gene and whether the sensitivity can be modified by concurrent demethylating treatment. Hence we treated different T-ALL cell lines with L-asparaginase and correlated different responses to the treatment with ASNS expression. Then we demonstrated that the ASNS expression was dependent on the methylation status of the promoter. Finally we showed that, despite the demethylating effect on the ASNS gene expression, the combined treatment with the demethylating agent Decitabine could synergistically improve the L-asparaginase sensitivity in those T-ALL cell lines characterized by hypermethylation of the ASNS gene. In conclusion, this preclinical study identified an unexpected synergistic activity of L-asparaginase and Decitabine in the subgroup of T-ALL with low ASNS expression due to hypermethylation of the ASNS promoter, while it did not restore sensitivity in the resistant cell lines characterized by higher ASNS expression.

Related: Azacitidine

Delvecchio M, Muggeo P, Monteduro M, et al.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is associated with early left ventricular dysfunction in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia survivors.
Eur J Endocrinol. 2017; 176(2):111-121 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) survivors have an increased risk of metabolic and cardiovascular disease. We aimed to assess the presence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in childhood ALL and if it is associated with early cardiovascular dysfunction.
METHODS: In total, 53 childhood ALL survivors and 34 controls underwent auxological evaluation, biochemical assay, liver, heart and vascular ultrasound study.
RESULTS: NAFLD was more frequent in ALL patients than in controls (39.6% vs 11.7%, P < 0.01). Patients with NAFLD were more obese and insulin resistant than patients without NAFLD. Flow-mediated dilatation and interventricular septum were lower in the ALL group than those in the control group (P < 0.001 for both). The patients with NAFLD showed lower left ventricular ejection fraction than those without NAFLD (P = 0.011). In ALL survivors, BMI-SDS and subcutaneous fat were the strongest predictors of NAFLD, whereas preperitoneal adipose tissue and C-reactive protein were the strongest predictors of left ventricular ejection fraction.
CONCLUSIONS: Childhood ALL survivors had higher prevalence of NAFLD than healthy controls, which is associated with early left ventricular impairment. In the case of fatty liver, a comprehensive heart evaluation is mandatory. We strongly recommend to prevent visceral adiposity in ALL survivors, to search for metabolic syndrome or its components and to reinforce the need of intervention on diet and lifestyle during the follow-up of these patients.

Singh SK, Lupo PJ, Scheurer ME, et al.
A childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia genome-wide association study identifies novel sex-specific risk variants.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(46):e5300 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) occurs more frequently in males. Reasons behind sex differences in childhood ALL risk are unknown. In the present genome-wide association study (GWAS), we explored the genetic basis of sex differences by comparing genotype frequencies between male and female cases in a case-only study to assess effect-modification by sex.The case-only design included 236 incident cases of childhood ALL consecutively recruited at the Texas Children's Cancer Center in Houston, Texas from 2007 to 2012. All cases were non-Hispanic whites, aged 1 to 10 years, and diagnosed with confirmed B-cell precursor ALL. Genotyping was performed using the Illumina HumanCoreExome BeadChip on the Illumina Infinium platform. Besides the top 100 statistically most significant results, results were also analyzed by the top 100 highest effect size with a nominal statistical significance (P <0.05).The statistically most significant sex-specific association (P = 4 × 10) was with the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs4813720 (RASSF2), an expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) for RASSF2 in peripheral blood. rs4813720 is also a strong methylation QTL (meQTL) for a CpG site (cg22485289) within RASSF2 in pregnancy, at birth, childhood, and adolescence. cg22485289 is one of the hypomethylated CpG sites in ALL compared with pre-B cells. Two missense SNPs, rs12722042 and 12722039, in the HLA-DQA1 gene yielded the highest effect sizes (odds ratio [OR] ∼ 14; P <0.01) for sex-specific results. The HLA-DQA1 SNPs belong to DQA1*01 and confirmed the previously reported male-specific association with DQA1*01. This finding supports the proposed infection-related etiology in childhood ALL risk for males. Further analyses revealed that most SNPs (either direct effect or through linkage disequilibrium) were within active enhancers or active promoter regions and had regulatory effects on gene expression levels.Cumulative data suggested that RASSF2 rs4813720, which correlates with increased RASSF2 expression, may counteract the suppressor effect of estrogen-regulated miR-17-92 on RASSF2 resulting in protection in males. Given the amount of sex hormone-related mechanisms suggested by our findings, future studies should examine prenatal or early postnatal programming by sex hormones when hormone levels show a large variation.

Related: RASSF2

Avcu G, Karapinar DY, Akinci AB, et al.
Utility of the serum galactomannan assay for the diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Int J Infect Dis. 2017; 54:8-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Invasive aspergillosis (IA) is an important cause of mortality and morbidity in children with hematological malignancies. The monitoring of serum galactomannan (GM) antigen is considered useful in the diagnosis of IA . The aim of this study was to determine the utility of serum GM monitoring in the early diagnosis of IA and the role of positive antigenemia in the management of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
METHODS: The cases of 141 children who were being treated for ALL in the Division of Pediatric Hematology of the Medical School of Ege University between January 2006 and February 2015 were reviewed retrospectively. Cases of proven and probable IA were defined according to the European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer/Mycoses Study Group (EORTC/MSG) criteria.
RESULTS: The incidence of proven and probable IA was 3.5% (5/141). The incidence of positive GM antigenemia among 3264 serum samples was 5.5% (n=179). Of the cases detected, 21.7% were true-positive, 52.1% were false-positive, and the remaining 26.1% were classified as 'undetermined.' An increase in the incidence of true-positive tests and induction of antifungal therapy was determined through multiple consecutive positive tests.
CONCLUSIONS: GM may be detected in the serum before the clinical signs of IA appear, but its sensitivity and specificity are variable. False-positivity is a significant disadvantage, and consecutive positive GM must be taken into account in the case of clinical and imaging findings that are relevant to IA.

Al-Ghobashy MA, Hassan SA, Abdelaziz DH, et al.
Development and validation of LC-MS/MS assay for the simultaneous determination of methotrexate, 6-mercaptopurine and its active metabolite 6-thioguanine in plasma of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia: Correlation with genetic polymorphism.
J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2016; 1038:88-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
Individualized therapy is a recent approach aiming to specify dosage regimen for each patient according to its genetic state. Cancer chemotherapy requires continuous monitoring of the plasma concentration levels of active forms of cytotoxic drugs and subsequent dose adjustment. In order to attain optimum therapeutic efficacy, correlation to pharmacogenetics data is crucial. In this study, a specific, accurate and sensitive liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) has been developed for determination of methotrexate (MTX), 6-mercaptopurine (MP) and its metabolite 6-thioguanine nucleotide (TG) in human plasma. Based on the basic character of the studied compounds, solid phase extraction using a strong cation exchanger was found the optimum approach to achieve good extraction recovery. Chromatographic separation was carried out using RP-HPLC and isocratic elution by acetonitrile: 0.1% aqueous formic acid (85:15v/v) with a flow rate of 0.8mL/min at 40°C. The detection was performed by tandem mass spectrometry in MRM mode via electrospray ionization source in positive ionization mode. Analysis was carried out within 1.0min over a concentration range of 6.25-200.00ng/mL for the studied analytes. Validation was carried out according to FDA guidelines for bioanalytical method validation and satisfactory results were obtained. The applicability of the assay for the monitoring of the MTX, MP and TG and subsequent application to personalized therapy was demonstrated in a clinical study on children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Results confirmed the need for implementation of reliable analysis tools for therapeutic dose adjustment.

Related: Mercaptopurine Methotrexate Polymorphisms Tioguanine

Portich JP, Gil MS, Dos Santos RP, et al.
Low brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels are associated with active disease and poor prognosis in childhood acute leukemia.
Cancer Biomark. 2016; 17(3):347-352 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor, tropomyosin-related receptor kinase B (TrkB) are involved in the maturation of B lymphocytes in the bone marrow (BM), promote cell differentiation in B-cell malignancies, and are associated with poor prognosis in adults with acute leukemia (AL). However, the role of BDNF in pediatric AL remains poorly understood.
OBJECTIVE: We carried out a cohort observational study to evaluate BDNF levels in BM or peripheral blood (PB) samples from children with AL.
METHODS: BM or PB samples were collected from 57 children and adolescents with acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL), 14 children and adolescents with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and 44 healthy individuals (HI) of the same age range.
RESULTS: BDNF levels at diagnosis in AL patients were significantly lower when compared to HI. Samples from patients in complete remission from disease had higher levels of BDNF compared to those obtained from patients with malignant cells. Moreover, BDNF levels at diagnosis in patients who died were significantly lower compared to those found in survivors.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings provide the first evidence for a possible role of BDNF as a marker of active disease and poor prognosis in pediatric AL.

Related: Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Childhood Acute Myeloid Leukaemia AML - Molecular Biology

Pei JS, Hsu PC, Chou AK, et al.
Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 Genotype Contributes to the Risk of Non-solid Tumor in Childhood Leukemia.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(10):5127-5132 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: Up-regulation of metalloproteinase (MMPs) proteins have been shown in various types of solid cancers and the genotype of MMP1 has been associated with the risk of solid cancers. However, the contribution of MMP1 genotype to leukemia has never been investigated to our knowledge. Therefore, in this study we aimed to evaluate the contribution of the genotypic variants in the promoter region of MMP1 to childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) risk in Taiwan.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this case-control study, 266 patients with childhood ALL and 266 non-cancer controls were genotyped by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism methodology.
RESULTS: The distribution of 2G/2G, 1G/2G and 1G/1G for MMP1 promoter rs1799750 genotype was 49.2%, 39.5% and 11.3% in the childhood ALL group and 36.8%, 43.6% and 19.5% in the non-cancer control group, respectively (p for trend=0.0046), significantly differentially distributed between childhood ALL and control groups. The carrier comparisons in dominant and recessive models also support the findings that 1G appears to be the protective allele in childhood ALL. In genotype and gender interaction analysis, it was found that boys carrying the MMP1 rs1799750 1G/2G or 1G/1G genotypes had lower odds ratios(ORs) of 0.68 and 0.43 [95% confidence intervals (CI)=0.47-0.98 and 0.26-0.73, p=0.0395 and 0.0013, respectively] for childhood ALL than those carrying the 2G/2G genotype. Analysis of genotype inaction with age of onset age showed those aged less than 3.5 years at onset carrying the 1G/2G or 1G/1G genotypes had lower ORs (0.0183 and 0.0004, respectively) for childhood ALL, but there was no such difference for those having an age at onset of 3.5 years or more.
CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that the MMP1 rs1799750 1G allele is a protective biomarker for childhood ALL.

Related: MMP1

Rutkauskaitė V, Ragelienė L, Matuzevičienė R, et al.
Reduction in Proportion of Senescent CD8+ T Lymphocytes During Chemotherapy of Children with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(11):6195-6199 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: To evaluate quantitative changes in B, NK and T lymphocyte subsets in peripheral blood of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) undergoing chemotherapy.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Children with ALL were treated according to NOPHO ALL 2008 protocol. Levels of B lymphocytes (CD19(+)), NK cells (CD3(-)CD56(+)) and subsets of T lymphocytes (CD3(+)CD4(+), CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+), CD3(+)CD8(+), CD3(+)CD8(+)CD57(+), CD3(+)CD8(+)CD57(-)) in peripheral blood were analyzed by flow cytometry prior and during treatment with cytotoxic drugs.
RESULTS: Immunological analyses were performed in 25 children with ALL. Levels of B and NK lymphocytes decreased continuously during chemotherapy. In contrast, levels of most T lymphocyte subsets decreased only transiently and returned to pretreatment levels by days 78 to 85. The only T lymphocyte subset that did not return to the pretreatment level contained senescent CD3(+)CD8(+)CD57(+) lymphocytes.
CONCLUSION: Immunomodulating action of chemotherapy in children with ALL results in reduction of proportion of senescent CD8(+) T lymphocytes.

Seo YM, Hwang-Bo S, Kim SK, et al.
Fatal systemic adenoviral infection superimposed on pulmonary mucormycosis in a child with acute leukemia: A case report.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(40):e5054 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Although adenovirus (ADV) infection usually causes self-limiting respiratory disorders in immune competent children; severe and systemic ADV infection in children undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia has been continuously reported. Nevertheless, there has been no consensus on risk factors and treatment strategies for severe ADV infection in children undergoing chemotherapy.
CASE SUMMARY: We report a case of a 15-year-old boy with a fatal systemic ADV infection. He had received reinduction chemotherapy for relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia under continuing antifungal therapy for previously diagnosed fungal pneumonia. He complained of fever and right shoulder pain 4 days after completing the reinduction chemotherapy. In spite of appropriate antibiotic and antifungal therapy, pneumonia was aggravated and gross hematuria was accompanied. A multiplex polymerase chain reaction test for respiratory viruses was positive for ADV in a blood sample, and a urine culture was positive for ADV. He received oral ribavirin, intravenous immunoglobulin, and intravenous cidofovir therapy; however, he eventually died. Relapsed leukemia, concurrent fungal pneumonia, and delayed cidofovir administration were considered the cause of the grave outcome in this patient.
CONCLUSION: ADV may cause severe infections not only in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant recipients, but also in patients undergoing chemotherapy for acute leukemia. The risk factors for severe ADV infection in patients undergoing chemotherapy should be determined in the future studies, and early antiviral therapy should be administered to immune compromised patients with systemic ADV infection.

Ramírez-Pacheco A, Moreno-Guerrero S, Alamillo I, et al.
Mexican Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: A Pilot Study of the MDR1 and MTHFR Gene Polymorphisms and Their Associations with Clinical Outcomes.
Genet Test Mol Biomarkers. 2016; 20(10):597-602 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Genetic polymorphisms in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) may influence the toxicity of chemotherapeutic agents. Due to the importance of the transport P-glycoprotein and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase in the metabolism of chemotherapeutic agents, we analyzed the MDR1 rs1045642 and MTHFR rs1801133 polymorphisms and their associations with clinical outcomes in Mexican childhood ALL patients.
METHODS: A total of 109 patients participated in this study. The clinical evaluation consisted of a physical examination and a laboratory test. Genotyping of MDR1 rs1045642 (3435 C>T) and MTHFR rs1801133 (677 C>T) was performed by polymerase chain reaction/restriction fragment length polymorphism. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS 14.0. The odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated by logistic regression.
RESULTS: Individuals who were CC homozygotes at MDR1 rs1045642 had lower risk of having methotrexate plasma concentrations >1 μM and leukopenia grade I (odds ratio [OR] = 0.30; 95% CI = 0.13-0.72 and OR = 0.32; 95% CI = 0.14-0.72, respectively). Patients who were CC homozygotes at MTHFR rs1801133 had a higher risk of developing mucositis (OR = 3.61; 95% CI = 1.42-9.14).
CONCLUSION: MDR1 rs1045642 and MTHFR rs1801133 should be considered as diagnostic candidates for the identification of pediatric patients with a high risk of suffering adverse events during ALL treatment.

Related: Methotrexate MTHFR

Wu X, Feng X, Zhao X, et al.
Role of Beclin-1-Mediated Autophagy in the Survival of Pediatric Leukemia Cells.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2016; 39(5):1827-1836 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Acute and chronic leukemia are severe malignant cancers worldwide, and can occur in pediatric patients. Since bone marrow cell transplantation is seriously limited by the availability of the immune-paired donor sources, the therapy for pediatric leukemia (PL) remains challenging. Autophagy is essential for the regulation of cell survival in the harsh environment. However, the role of autophagy in the survival of PL cells under the oxidative stress, e.g. chemotherapy, remain ill-defined. In the current study, we addressed these questions.
METHODS: We analyzed the effects of oxidative stress on the cell viability of PL cells in vitro, using a CCK-8 assay. We analyzed the effects of oxidative stress on the apoptosis and autophagy of PL cells. We analyzed the levels of Beclin-1 and microRNA-93 (miR-93) in PL cells. Prediction of binding between miR-93 and 3'-UTR of Beclin-1 mRNA was performed by a bioinformatics algorithm and confirmed by a dual luciferase reporter assay. The relationship between levels of miR-93 and patients' survival was analyzed in PL patients.
RESULTS: We found that oxidative stress dose-dependently increased autophagy in PL cells. While low-level oxidative stress did not increase apoptosis, high-level oxidative stress increased apoptosis, seemingly from failure of autophagy-mediated cell survival. High-level oxidative stress appeared to suppress the protein levels of an autophagy protein Beclin-1 in PL cells, possibly through induction of miR-93, which inhibited the translation of Beclin-1 mRNA via 3'-UTR binding.
CONCLUSION: Beclin-1-mediated autophagy plays a key role in the survival of PL cells against oxidative stress. Induction of miR-93 may increase the sensitivity of PL cells to oxidative stress during chemotherapy to improve therapeutic outcome.

Related: MicroRNAs Signal Transduction

Baranger L, Cuccuini W, Lefebvre C, et al.
Cytogenetics in the management of children and adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL): an update by the Groupe francophone de cytogénétique hématologique (GFCH).
Ann Biol Clin (Paris). 2016; 74(5):547-560 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cytogenetic analyses (karyotype and, if necessary, appropriate complementary FISH analyses) are mandatory at diagnosis in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) as their results are taken into account in therapeutic protocols due to their diagnostic and prognostic values. In some cases, karyotype can be completed by other techniques (RT-PCR, RQ-PCR, DNA content, SNP-array, MLPA…) that can be equally or more informative than FISH. Here, we have tempted to establish guidelines concerning karyotype and FISH analyses according to the most recent data of the litterature which is reviewed here, completing the 2008 WHO classification with the recent new cytogenomic entities such as Ph-like ALL and indicating possible therapeutic implications.

Bhandari P, Ahmad F, Mandava S, Das BR
Association of Genetic Variants in ARID5B, IKZF1 and CEBPE with Risk of Childhood de novo B-Lineage Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in India.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2016; 17(8):3989-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a heterogeneous genetic disease and its etiology remains poorly understood. Recent genome wide association and replication studies have highlighted specic polymorphisms contributing to childhood ALL predispositions mostly in European populations. It is unclear if these observations generalize to other populations with a lower incidence of ALL. The current case-control study evaluated variants in ARID5B (rs7089424, rs10821936), IKZF1 (rs4132601) and CEBPE (rs2239633) genes, which appear most significantly associated with risk of developing childhood B-lineage ALL.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using TaqMan assays, genotyping was conducted for 162 de novo B-lineage ALL cases and 150 unrelated healthy controls in India. Appropriate statistical methods were applied.
RESULTS: Genotypic and allelic frequencies differed significantly between cases and controls at IKZF1-rs4132601 (p=0.039, p=0.015) and ARID5B-rs10821936 (p=0.028, p=0.026). Both rs10821936 (p=0.019; OR 0.67; 95% CI=0.47-0.94) and rs4132601 (p=0.018; OR 0.67; 95%CI 0.48-0.94) were associated with reduced disease risk. Moreover, gender- analysis revealed male-specific risk associations for rs10821936 (p=0.041 CT+CC) and rs4132601 (p=0.005 G allele). Further, ARID5B-rs7089424 and CEBPE-rs2239633 showed a trend towards decreased disease risk but without significance (p=0.073; p=0.73).
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide the rst evidence that SNPs ARID5B- rs10821936 and IKZF1-rs4132601 are associated with decreased B-lineage ALL susceptibility in Indian children. Understanding the effects of these variants in different ethnic groups is crucial as they may confer different risk of ALL within different populations.

Related: ARID5B

Bahari G, Hashemi M, Naderi M, Taheri M
TET2 Promoter DNA Methylation and Expression in Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2016; 17(8):3959-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
The ten-eleven-translocation-2 (TET2) gene is a novel tumor suppressor gene involved in several hematological malignancies of myeloid and lymphoid origin. Besides loss-of-function mutations and deletions, hypermethylation of the CpG island at the TET2 promoter has been found in human cancers. The TET2 encoded protein regulates DNA methylation. The present study aimed to examine DNA promoter methylation of TET2 in 100 childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cases and 120 healthy children in southeast Iran. In addition, mRNA expression levels were assessed in 30 new cases of ALL and 32 controls. Our findings indicated that promoter methylation of TET2 significantly increases the risk of ALL (OR=2.60, 95% CI=1.31-5.12, p=0.0060) in comparison with absent methylation. Furthermore, the TET2 gene was significantly downregulated in childhood ALL compared to healthy children (p=0.0235). The results revealed that hypermethylation and downregulation of TET2 gene may play a role in predisposition to childhood ALL. Further studies with larger sample sizes and different ethnicities are needed to confirm our findings.

Related: TET2

Goto Y, Nishimura R, Nohara A, et al.
Minimal contribution of severe hypertriglyceridemia in L-asparaginase-associated pancreatitis developed in a child with acute lymphocytic leukemia.
Rinsho Ketsueki. 2016; 57(8):994-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
A 10-year-old girl developed L-asparaginase (ASP)-associated pancreatitis during chemotherapy for acute lymphocytic leukemia. Her symptoms showed alleviation with continuous regional arterial infusion of protease inhibitor and systemic somatostatin analog therapy. She had intermittent and marked hypertriglyceridemia, an initial trigger for pancreatitis, probably as a side effect of ASP and steroids. However, we considered the pancreatitis to have developed mainly because of factors other than hypertriglyceridemia as lipoprotein analysis confirmed chylomicron levels to be nearly undetectable. Extremely large chylomicrons contribute directly to the onset of pancreatitis by causing blockage of small vessels. Although it is necessary to examine patients for dyslipidemia developing as a side effect of ASP, therapeutic intervention for hypertriglyceridemia is not considered to prevent the onset of ASP-associated pancreatitis.

Related: Crisantaspase

Huang QT, Gao YF, Zhong M, Yu YH
Preterm Birth and Subsequent Risk of Acute Childhood Leukemia: a Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2016; 39(3):1229-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Preterm birth (PTB) has been recognized as a crucial long term risk factor for multiple non-communicable diseases. However, studies between the relationship of PTB and the risk of acute childhood leukemia have yielded inconclusive results. Therefore, we performed a meta-analysis to systematically review the current literature to investigate whether PTB is associated with increased risk of acute childhood leukemia.
METHODS: Three electronic databases (PubMed, Web of Science, and EMBASE) were searched up to December 1st, 2015. Relevant studies reporting the association between PTB and subsequent risk of acute childhood leukemia were included for further evaluation. Statistical analysis was performed using Revmen 5.3 and Stata 10.0.
RESULTS: A total of 12 studies for acute childhood leukemia, eight studies for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and seven studies for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) were included in the current meta-analyses. We calculated pooled odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) to evaluate the relationship between PTB and acute childhood leukemia as well as its two subtypes: ALL and AML. Our results suggested that PTB was significantly associated with increased risk of acute childhood leukemia (OR = 1.09, 95% CI = 1.02-1.17, P = 0.01) and AML (OR = 1.42, 95% CI = 1.21-1.67, P < 0.01). However, PTB was not significantly associated with an increased risk of ALL (OR = 1.04, 95% CI = 0.96-1.13, P = 0.29).
CONCLUSION: Our data showed that PTB increased the risk of AML. Further studies are required to explore causality and dissect the biological mechanisms involved.

Related: Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

Yoshida K
Genetic abnormalities associated with the relapse of childhood leukemia.
Rinsho Ketsueki. 2016; 57(7):919-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acute leukemia, especially acute lymphoblastic leukemia, is the most common tumor in childhood. Survival in pediatric acute leukemia cases has improved significantly, but once a relapse occurs, the long-term survival rates decrease markedly. Recently, SNP array and next-generation sequencing have revealed the relapse mechanism of pediatric leukemia and genetic alterations which drive leukemia recurrence.

Related: Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Childhood Acute Myeloid Leukaemia AML - Molecular Biology

Takagi M, Urayama K
Inherited genetic variants associated with childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia risk.
Rinsho Ketsueki. 2016; 57(7):891-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Numerous efforts have been made to elucidate the roles of individual genetic background factors in the risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Most have taken the form of case-control studies focusing on specific candidate gene polymorphisms. Recently, a more rigorous and comprehensive approach referred to as a genome-wide association study (GWAS) has been widely utilized and has achieved success. Case-control studies evaluating candidate gene associations have shown cumulative evidence of a role for folate metabolism and xenobiotic metabolism/transport pathway genetic variants. In addition, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)s identified by GWAS appear to indicate a strong role for genes encoding transcription factors involved in cellular differentiation. Further studies are needed to clarify the accumulating evidence obtained from both candidate gene and genome-wide investigations.

Hagag AA, Elmashad GM, Abd El-Bar ES
Prognostic value of Prominin-1 Expression in Egyptian children with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: Two centers Egyptian study.
J Cancer Res Ther. 2016 Apr-Jun; 12(2):627-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Acute lymphoblasstic leukemia (ALL) is the most common childhood malignancy. Prominin-1 is a cell-surface trans-membrane glycoprotein expressed on the stem cell surface and has potential role in diagnostic and prognostic work-up of several stem cell cancers. Aim of this Work: To assess the prognostic value of Prominin-1 expression in Egyptian children with ALL.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: This study was conducted on 80 Egyptian children with newly diagnosed ALL and 30 healthy children of matched age and sex as a control group. Patient history, and clinical and laboratory examination results were taken, including complete blood count, serum LDH, bone marrow aspiration with cytochemistry, immunophenotyping, Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization technique for detection of t(9;22) and Flow cytometery for estimation of Prominin-1 expression on blast cells.
RESULTS: No statistically significant differences were observed between Prominin-1 positive and negative patients regarding age, sex and clinical presentation at diagnosis. No statistically significant differences between Prominin-1 positive and negative patients were observed regarding white blood cells and platelet counts, peripheral blood and bone marrow blast cells percentage while there were significantly higher hemoglobin and LDH levels in Prominin-1 positive patients. There were no significant differences between Prominin-1 positive and negative patients regarding immunophenotyping and t(9;22). There were statistically significant differences in disease outcome between Prominin-1 positive and negative expression with higher rate of relapse and death and lower rate of complete remission in patients with Prominin-1 positive expression (14 cases with Prominin-1 positive relapsed versus 2 cases with Prominin-1 negative, 12 cases with Prominin-1 positive died versus 2 cases with Prominin-1 negative and complete remission occurred in 20 cases with Prominin-1 positive versus 30 cases with Prominin-1 negative) (P =0.017). There was statistically significant difference in disease-free survival (P = 0.0072) and overall survival (P = 0.0424) between ALL patients with Prominin-1 positive and Prominin--1 negative expression.
CONCLUSION: Prominin-1 is a helpful prognostic marker in patients with ALL; therefore, it should be routinely assessed at diagnosis in ALL patients for better prognostic assessment and should be taken in consideration in designing future therapeutic strategies based on patient-specific risk factors.

Sharma M, Sachdeva MU, Varma N, et al.
Characterization of immunophenotypic aberrancies in adult and childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia: A study from Northern India.
J Cancer Res Ther. 2016 Apr-Jun; 12(2):620-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Identification of aberrant antigen expression is important in characterizing neoplastic population among non.neoplastic bone marrow counterparts and further in the detection of minimal residual disease. (MRD). Flow cytometry (FCM) is an important tool in identifying aberrant phenotypes. Incidence of aberrant phenotypes varies considerably in independent studies and its association with prognostic factors is still debatable.
AIM: To identify the prevalence of aberrant phenotypes on immunophenotyping in a large series of de novo acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and to evaluate any association with initial clinical and hematological features.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In the current study, 303 patients of de novo ALL were included from the Department of Hematology, PGIMER, Chandigarh during the time period (July 2010 to June 2012). The immunophenotype of all cases of ALL was studied using FCM.
RESULTS: Aberrant myeloid antigen expression was seen in 42.5% cases. Most frequent aberrant myeloid antigen was CD13 (32.2% cases), followed by CD33 (27.2% cases) and CD117 (18.5% cases). The expression of CD117 was relatively frequent in comparison to earlier reports which describe its rare expression. Adult T- ALL showed higher expression of CD33 and CD117 than pediatric T-ALL (P = 0.032 and 0.043, respectively). Myeloid antigen expression in ALL was associated with lower WBC count (P < 0.05) and lower number of peripheral blasts (P < 0.05). Expression of CD34 was higher in My + ALL group (P < 0.05) than My- ALL group.
CONCLUSION: In summary, CD117 is a relatively frequently expressed myeloid marker contrary to earlier reports which describes its rare expression. Pediatric and adult ALL cases with low blast count and CD34 positivity are more likely to express aberrant myeloid markers. Current study also supports that myeloid antigen expression in both adult and pediatric ALL is not associated with adverse presenting clinical and biological features.

Liu YF, Wang BY, Zhang WN, et al.
Genomic Profiling of Adult and Pediatric B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
EBioMedicine. 2016; 8:173-83 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Genomic landscapes of 92 adult and 111 pediatric patients with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) were investigated using next-generation sequencing and copy number alteration analysis. Recurrent gene mutations and fusions were tested in an additional 87 adult and 93 pediatric patients. Among the 29 newly identified in-frame gene fusions, those involving MEF2D and ZNF384 were clinically relevant and were demonstrated to perturb B-cell differentiation, with EP300-ZNF384 inducing leukemia in mice. Eight gene expression subgroups associated with characteristic genetic abnormalities were identified, including leukemia with MEF2D and ZNF384 fusions in two distinct clusters. In subgroup G4 which was characterized by ERG deletion, DUX4-IGH fusion was detected in most cases. This comprehensive dataset allowed us to compare the features of molecular pathogenesis between adult and pediatric B-ALL and to identify signatures possibly related to the inferior outcome of adults to that of children. We found that, besides the known discrepancies in frequencies of prognostic markers, adult patients had more cooperative mutations and greater enrichment for alterations of epigenetic modifiers and genes linked to B-cell development, suggesting difference in the target cells of transformation between adult and pediatric patients and may explain in part the disparity in their responses to treatment.

Kimura S, Hasegawa D, Yoshimoto Y, et al.
Severe 6-mercaptopurine-induced hematotoxicity in childhood an ALL patient with homozygous NUDT15 missence variants.
Rinsho Ketsueki. 2016; 57(6):748-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
Thiopurine S-methyltransferase (TPMT) and nucleoside diphosphate-linked moiety X-type motif 15 (NUDT15) variants are considered to be genes responsible for severe myelotoxicity induced by 6-mercaptopurine (6MP). We report a 4-year-old girl with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, who developed the complication of severe 6MP-induced myelotoxicity due to homozygous NUDT15 variant alleles. In early consolidation therapy containing 6MP, her course was complicated by severe neutropenia (Grade 4) and chemotherapy had to be discontinued for 33 days. The 6MP dose was subsequently adjusted based on the white blood cell count. The ratios of the prescribed 6MP dose over the protocol dose in early consolidation, central nervous system (CNS) prophylaxis, re-induction, interim maintenance and maintenance therapy were 63%, 27%, 4%, 26% and 7%, respectively. Suspension of therapy was required during early consolidation, CNS prophylaxis and interim maintenance therapy. We investigated candidate genes for 6MP-associated myelotoxicity and found homozygous NUDT15 variant alleles and a heterozygous inosine triphosphate pyrophosphatase (ITPA) variant allele. In patients with homozygous NUDT15 variants, drastic reduction (less than 10%) of the 6MP dose from the protocol dose might be required not only during maintenance therapy, but also during other treatment courses containing 6MP. Screening of candidate genes at diagnosis is recommended in order to avoid serious adverse events.

Related: Mercaptopurine

Burnusuzov HA, Spasova MI, Murdjeva MA, et al.
Immunophenotypic Modulation of the Blast Cells in Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Minimal Residual Disease Detection.
Folia Med (Plovdiv). 2016; 58(1):28-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Early clearance of leukemic cells during induction therapy of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a basis for treatment optimization. Currently, the most widely used methods for the detection of minute residual malignant cells in the bone marrow and/or peripheral blood, minimal residual disease (MRD), are PCR and flow cytometry (FCM). Immunophenotypic modulation (IM) is a well known factor that can hamper the accurate FCM analysis.
AIM: To report the IM detected by 8-color FCM during the BFM-type remission induction in 24 consecutive MRD-positive samples of children with B-cell precursor ALL and the possible implications for MRD detection.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Between 2010 and 2012 we prospectively followed up the MRD on days 15 and 33 of induction treatment in bone marrow (BM) samples and on day 8 in peripheral blood (PB). The IM was assessed by comparative analyses of the changes in the mean fluorescence intensity of 7 highly relevant antigens expressed by the leukemic cells and normal B-lymphocytes.
RESULTS: IM occurred, to different extents, in all analyzed day 15 BM and in most day 33 BM samples. Statistically significant changes in the MFI-levels of four CDs expressed by the leukemic blasts were observed: downmodulation of CD10, CD19 and CD34 and upmodulation of CD20. No changes in the expression of CD38, CD58 and CD45 were noticed.
CONCLUSIONS: Measuring the MRD by standardized 8-color flow cytometry helps improve the monitoring of the disease, leading to better therapeutic results. However, the IM of the different antigens expressed by the leukemic blasts should be taken into consideration and cautiously analyzed.

Related: PTPRC

Kim J, Lyu CJ, Shin S, et al.
Frequency and Clinical Characteristics of Intrachromosomal Amplification of Chromosome 21 in Korean Childhood B-lineage Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Ann Lab Med. 2016; 36(5):475-80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Intrachromosomal amplification of chromosome 21 (iAMP21) is known to be associated with poor prognosis in B-cell ALL (B-ALL). To determine the frequency and clinical characteristics of iAMP21 in Korean B-ALL patients, we performed FISH and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) analyses.
METHODS: A total of 102 childhood B-ALL patients were screened with ETV6-RUNX1 FISH probes (Abbott Molecular, USA). The presence of an iAMP21 was confirmed by using MLPA P327 iAMP21-ERG probemix (MRC Holland, The Netherlands).
RESULTS: iAMP21 was detected in one of the screened B-ALL patients (1/102 patients, 1.0%) who presented the ALL immunophenotype and complex karyotype at initial diagnosis. The patient relapsed twice after bone marrow transplantation. MLPA showed 12.5-Mb and 4.28-Mb regions of amplification and deletion, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: The frequency of iAMP21 is considerable in Korean pediatric patients. Our report suggests that iAMP21 in childhood B-ALL has very unfavorable impact on patient's prognosis. Additional methods such as MLPA analysis is essential to rule out patients with equivocal interphase FISH results.

Related: Chromosome 21 FISH ETV6 (TEL) RUNX1

Chase HE, Pang JH, Sanghrajka AP
Femoral diaphyseal stress fracture as the initial presentation of acute leukaemia in an adolescent.
BMJ Case Rep. 2016; 2016 [PubMed] Related Publications
A 14-year-old boy was referred to the orthopaedic clinic by his general practitioner, reporting of a 6-week history of left thigh pain. Clinical examination was unremarkable. Radiographs demonstrated a periosteal reaction at the proximal femur. MRI scans demonstrated a stress fracture of the femur, with no associated sinister features and no evidence of a pathological lesion. As the fracture healed and symptoms improved, the patient became unwell with weight loss, lethargy, chest and jaw pain and fevers. After multiple blood tests over a 25-day period, including five full blood counts and two normal blood films, a third blood film finally demonstrated blasts in keeping with acute leukaemia. We discuss a literature review of musculoskeletal manifestations of leukaemia and the often atypical presentations found.

Singer AW, Selvin S, Block G, et al.
Maternal prenatal intake of one-carbon metabolism nutrients and risk of childhood leukemia.
Cancer Causes Control. 2016; 27(7):929-40 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2017 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Folate, vitamins B12 and B6, riboflavin, and methionine are critical nutrients for the one-carbon metabolism cycle involved in DNA synthesis and epigenetic processes. We examined the association between maternal intake of these nutrients before pregnancy and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in a matched case-control study.
METHODS: Maternal dietary intake and vitamin supplement use in the year before pregnancy was assessed by food frequency questionnaire for 681 ALL cases, 103 AML cases, and 1076 controls. Principal component analysis was used to construct a variable representing combined nutrient intake, and conditional logistic regression estimated the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for the association of ALL and AML with the principal component and each nutrient.
RESULTS: Higher maternal intake of one-carbon metabolism nutrients from food and supplements combined was associated with reduced risk of ALL (OR for one-unit change in the principal component = 0.91, CI 0.84-0.99) and possibly AML (OR for the principal component = 0.83, CI 0.66-1.04). When analyzed separately, intake of supplements high in these nutrients was associated with a reduced risk of ALL in children of Hispanic women only.
CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, these data suggest that higher maternal intake of one-carbon metabolism nutrients may reduce risk of childhood leukemia.

Chansing K, Pakakasama S, Hongeng S, et al.
Lack of Association between the MiR146a Polymorphism and Susceptibility to Thai Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2016; 17(5):2435-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: MiRNAs, small non coding RNAs, play a role in the regulation of hematopoiesis, with effects on cell growth, differentiation, and apoptosis. In addition, MiRNAs are thought to play an important role in tumorigenesis. The miR146a G>C polymorphism can lead to alteration of miR146 expression, which appears to be associated with development and progression of several cancers. This study aimed to investigate the association of the miRNA146a (rs2910164) G>C polymorphism and susceptibility to childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and clinical outcomes.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Totals of 100 childhood ALL patients and 200 healthy children were studied for miR146a polymorphisms using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment-length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP).
RESULTS: The frequency of the miR146a G allele in controls was 0.40 compared with 0.38 in ALL patients. There was no association between miRNA146a (rs2910164) G>C polymorphism and susceptibility to childhood ALL (OR=1.484, 95%CI=0.712-3.093, p=0.290). Moreover, the frequencies of miR146a (rs2910164) G>C polymorphism were not associated with demographic data and clinical outcomes in ALL cases.
CONCLUSIONS: The miRNA146a polymorphism was not significantly associated with susceptibility to Thai childhood ALL or any clinico-pathological variables.

Related: MicroRNAs Thailand

Schoenaker MH, Suarez F, Szczepanski T, et al.
Treatment of acute leukemia in children with ataxia telangiectasia (A-T).
Eur J Med Genet. 2016; 59(12):641-646 [PubMed] Related Publications
Early onset ataxia telangiectasia (A-T) is a neurodegenerative DNA-instability disorder, which presents early in childhood. Hallmarks of A-T are progressive ataxia and a dramatic increased risk of developing malignancies (25%), especially of hematological origin. In children these malignancies mainly concern aggressive Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, acute leukemias and Hodgkin lymphoma. Of the acute leukemias, T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is by far the most common. Since patients with A-T experience increased toxicity to radio- and chemotherapeutic treatment, the optimal treatment strategy of acute leukemia remains subject of debate. Review of literature of treatment of T-ALL in patients with A-T (n = 18) showed that many patients are not diagnosed with A-T at time of presentation of T-ALL. This implicates that physicians must be aware of symptoms of A-T in young patients presenting with T-ALL. Complete remission rates are high following upfront modified as well as unmodified treatment strategies. Treatment of ALL in children with A-T is feasible and should be performed. Definitive treatment strategy must be determined by shared decision making with patient, caretakers and medical team. Future prospective studies are needed to elucidate optimal treatment strategy.

Related: Ataxia-Telangiectasia Ataxia Telangiectasia

da Conceição Nunes J, de Araujo GV, Viana MT, Sarinho ES
Association of atopic diseases and parvovirus B19 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in childhood and adolescence in the northeast of Brazil.
Int J Clin Oncol. 2016; 21(5):989-995 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Several factors related to the immune system, such as a history of allergies and virus infections, may be associated with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The purpose of this study was to analyze whether the presence of atopic diseases and previous infection with parvovirus B19 and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) are associated with the development of ALL.
METHODS: This case-control study was performed in two tertiary hospitals located in northeastern Brazil. The study population included 60 patients who were diagnosed with non-T-cell ALL using myelogram and immunophenotyping and 120 patients in the control group. Atopy was evaluated via a parent questionnaire and medical records. Total immunoglobulin (Ig)E and IgG levels of parvovirus B19 and EBV were measured in the serum. Logistic regression was performed to assess the association between variables and odds of ALL.
RESULTS: We identified a significant inverse association between rhinitis, urticaria and elevated IgE serum levels with ALL. A history of parvovirus B19 infection showed a significant association with this type of cancer [OR (95 % CI) 2.00 (1.94-4.26); P = 0.050]. In logistic regression, the presence of atopy was a protective factor [OR (95 % CI) 0.57 (0.38-0.83); P = 0.004], and the presence of IgG for parvovirus B19 was an important risk factor for ALL [OR (95 % CI) 2.20 (1.02-4.76); P = 0.043].
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that atopic diseases and elevated total IgE levels are associated with a potential protective effect on the development of ALL. Previous infection with parvovirus B19 contributed to ALL susceptibility.

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