Cluster analysis of genomic ETV6-RUNX1 (TEL-AML1) fusion sites in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia
Fusion between ETV6 and RUNX1 defines the largest genetic subgroup in childhood ALL. The genomic fusion site, unique to individual patients and specific for the malignant clone, represents an ideal molecular marker for quantification of minimal residual disease. Sequencing of DNA breakpoints has been difficult due to the extended size of the respective breakpoint cluster regions. We therefore evaluated a specially designed multiplex long-range PCR assay in 65 diagnostic bone marrow samples for its suitability in routine use. Resulting fusion sites and breakpoints derived from previous studies were subject to cluster analysis to identify potential sequence motifs involved in translocation initiation.