p16 gene deletions are present in about 70% of primary paediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL) and 20% of common/precursor B-cell ALL cases. It is not clear what the impact of the frequent p16 deletions is within the subgroup of T-lineage ALL. We studied the relationship between p16/p19ARF deletions, using fluorescence in situ hybridization, and in vitro drug resistance and prognosis in childhood T-ALL at diagnosis. The cellular drug resistance was measured with the methyl thiazol tetrazoliumbromide assay using a panel of drugs and the thymidylate synthase inhibition assay for methotrexate. There was a complete overlap of individual LC50 values of p16 gene homozygously deleted and p16 germ-line cases for most of the nine classes of drugs tested. The only difference was for dexamethasone: the p16-deleted group was more sensitive than the germ-line p16 group (P = 0.030). The homozygously deleted p16 T-ALL patients (n = 34) treated with the modern multiagent chemotherapy schemes of the Dutch Childhood Leukaemia Study Group ALL-VII/-VIII or Cooperative ALL-92/-97 protocols have a significantly lower 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) than germ-line p16 T-ALL (n = 25) (65.1 ± 9.1% vs. 95.5 ± 4.4%, Plog rank = 0.021). Hence, this study identifies a subpopulation of primary childhood T-ALL that appears to have an extremely high DFS. However, the observed differences in outcome do not seem to be related to intrinsic resistance for the tested drugs.

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doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2141.2001.02586.x, hdl.handle.net/1765/65286
British Journal of Haematology
Department of Pediatrics

Ramakers-van Woerden, N.L, Pieters, R, Slater, R, Loonen, A.H, Beverloo, H.B, van Drunen, E, … Veerman, A.J.P. (2001). In vitro drug resistance and prognostic impact of p16INK4A/P15INK4B deletions in childhood T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. British Journal of Haematology, 112(3), 680–690. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2141.2001.02586.x