Absence of biallelic TCRγ deletion predicts early treatment failure in pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Alejandro Gutierrez, Suzanne E. Dahlberg, Donna S. Neuberg, Jianhua Zhang, Ruta Grebliunaite, Takaomi Sanda, Alexei Protopopov, Valeria Tosello, Jeffery Kutok, Richard S. Larson, Michael J. Borowitz, Mignon L. Loh, Adolfo A. Ferrando, Stuart S. Winter, Charles G. Mullighan, Lewis B. Silverman, Lynda Chin, Stephen P. Hunger, Stephen E. Sallan, A. Thomas Look

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Purpose: To identify children with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) at high risk of induction chemotherapy failure by using DNA copy number analysis of leukemic cells collected at diagnosis. Patients and Methods: Array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) was performed on genomic DNA extracted from diagnostic lymphoblasts from 47 children with T-ALL treated on Children's Oncology Group Study P9404 or Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Protocol 00-01. These samples represented nine patients who did not achieve an initial complete remission, 13 who relapsed, and 25 who became long-term, event-free survivors. The findings were confirmed in an independent cohort of patients by quantitative DNA polymerase chain reaction (DNA-PCR), an assay that is well suited for clinical application. Results: Analysis of the CGH findings in patients in whom induction chemotherapy failed compared with those in whom induction chemotherapy was successful identified the absence of biallelic TCRγ locus deletion (ABD), a characteristic of early thymocyte precursors before V(D)J recombination, as the most robust predictor of induction failure (P < .001). This feature was also associated with markedly inferior event-free (P = .002) and overall survival (P < .001) rates: 25% versus 58% and 25% versus 72%, respectively. Using a rapid and inexpensive quantitative DNA-PCR assay, we validated ABD as a predictor of a poor response to induction chemotherapy in an independent series of patients. Conclusion: Lymphoblasts from children with T-ALL should be evaluated at diagnosis for deletion within the TCRγ locus. Patients lacking biallelic deletion, which confers a high probability of induction failure with contemporary therapy, should be assigned to alternative therapy in the context of a prospective clinical trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3816-3823
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number24
StatePublished - Aug 20 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Absence of biallelic TCRγ deletion predicts early treatment failure in pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this