EBF1-PDGFRB fusion in pediatric B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL): Genetic profile and clinical implications

Claire Schwab, Sarra L. Ryan, Lucy Chilton, Alannah Elliott, James Murray, Stacey Richardson, Christopher Wragg, John Moppett, Michelle Cummins, Oliver Tunstall, Catriona A. Parker, Vaskar Saha, Nicholas Goulden, Ajay Vora, Anthony V. Moorman, Christine J. Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


The EBF1-PDGFRB gene fusion accounts for <1% of B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cases and occurs within the Philadelphia-like ALL subtype. We report 15 EBF1-PDGFRB-positive patients from childhood ALL treatment trials (ALL 97/99, UKALL 2003, UKALL 2011) in the United Kingdom. The fusion arose from interstitial deletion of 5q33 (n = 11), balanced rearrangement (n = 2), or complex rearrangement (n = 2). There was a predominance of females (n = 11), median age of 12 years, and median white blood cell count of 48.8 × 109/L. Among 12 patients who achieved complete remission on earlier trials (ALL 97/99 and UKALL 2003), 10 were positive for minimal residual disease (MRD) at the end of induction, and 7 relapsed 18 to 59 months after diagnosis. The majority (9 of 12) remained alive 6 to 9 years after diagnosis. There are reports of EBF1-PDGFRB-positive patients who are refractory to conventional chemotherapy who achieve complete response when treated with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib. These findings have prompted screening for EBF1-PDGFRB in patients entered onto the current UKALL 2011 trial for whom induction therapy failed, who did not achieve remission by day 29, or who remained MRD positive (>0.5%) at week 14. Two UKALL 2011 patients, positive for EBF1-PDGFRB, received imatinib; 1 died 6 months after a matched unrelated bone marrow transplant as a result of undefined encephalopathy, and the other remained in remission 10 months after diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2214-2218
Number of pages5
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 5 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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