Relapse is the most common cause of treatment failure in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and is often difficult to predict. To explore the prognostic impact of recurrent DNA copy number abnormalities on relapse, we performed high-resolution genomic profiling of 34 paired diagnosis and relapse ALL samples. Recurrent lesions detected at diagnosis, including PAX5, CDKN2A and EBF1, were frequently absent at relapse, indicating that they represent secondary events that may be absent in the relapse-prone therapy-resistant progenitor cell. In contrast, deletions and nonsense mutations in IKZF1 (IKAROS) were highly enriched and consistently preserved at the time of relapse. A targeted copy number screen in an unselected cohort of 131 precursor B-ALL cases, enrolled in the dexamethasone-based Dutch Childhood Oncology Group treatment protocol ALL9, revealed that IKZF1 deletions are significantly associated with poor relapse-free and overall survival rates. Separate analysis of ALL9-treatment subgroups revealed that non-high-risk (NHR) patients with IKZF1 deletions exhibited a ∼12-fold higher relative relapse rate than those without IKZF1 deletions. Consequently, IKZF1 deletion status allowed the prospective identification of 53% of the relapse-prone NHR-classified patients within this subgroup and, therefore, serves as one of the strongest predictors of relapse at the time of diagnosis with high potential for future risk stratification.Leukemia advance online publication, 6 May 2010; doi:10.1038/leu.2010.87.,
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Kuiper, R., Waanders, E., van der Velden, V., van Reijmersdal, S., Venkatachalam, R., Scheijen, B., … Hoogerbrugge, P. (2010). IKZF1 deletions predict relapse in uniformly treated pediatric precursor B-ALL. Leukemia, 24(7), 1258–1264. doi:10.1038/leu.2010.87