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1.  A Novel Three-Colour Fluorescence in Situ Hybridization Approach for the Detection of t(7;12)(q36;p13) in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia Reveals New Cryptic Three Way Translocation t(7;12;16) 
Cancers  2013;5(1):281-295.
The t(7;12)(q36;p13) translocation is a recurrent chromosome abnormality that involves the ETV6 gene on chromosome 12 and has been identified in 20–30% of infant patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). The detection of t(7;12) rearrangements relies on the use of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) because this translocation is hardly visible by chromosome banding methods. Furthermore, a fusion transcript HLXB9-ETV6 is found in approximately 50% of t(7;12) cases, making the reverse transcription PCR approach not an ideal screening method. Considering the report of few cases of variant translocations harbouring a cryptic t(7;12) rearrangement, we believe that the actual incidence of this abnormality is higher than reported to date. The clinical outcome of t(7;12) patients is believed to be poor, therefore an early and accurate diagnosis is important in the clinical management and treatment. In this study, we have designed and tested a novel three-colour FISH approach that enabled us not only to confirm the presence of the t(7;12) in a number of patients studied previously, but also to identify a cryptic t(7;12) as part of a complex rearrangement. This new approach has proven to be an efficient and reliable method to be used in the diagnostic setting.
doi:10.3390/cancers5010281
PMCID: PMC3730311  PMID: 24216708
fluorescence in situ hybridization; chromosomal translocations; childhood leukaemia; t(7;12); ETV6; HLXB9
2.  Outcomes after Induction Failure in Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia 
The New England Journal of Medicine  2012;366(15):1371-1381.
BACKGROUND
Failure of remission-induction therapy is a rare but highly adverse event in children and adolescents with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
METHODS
We identified induction failure, defined by the persistence of leukemic blasts in blood, bone marrow, or any extramedullary site after 4 to 6 weeks of remission-induction therapy, in 1041 of 44,017 patients (2.4%) 0 to 18 years of age with newly diagnosed ALL who were treated by a total of 14 cooperative study groups between 1985 and 2000. We analyzed the relationships among disease characteristics, treatments administered, and outcomes in these patients.
RESULTS
Patients with induction failure frequently presented with high-risk features, including older age, high leukocyte count, leukemia with a T-cell phenotype, the Philadelphia chromosome, and 11q23 rearrangement. With a median follow-up period of 8.3 years (range, 1.5 to 22.1), the 10-year survival rate (±SE) was estimated at only 32±1%. An age of 10 years or older, T-cell leukemia, the presence of an 11q23 rearrangement, and 25% or more blasts in the bone marrow at the end of induction therapy were associated with a particularly poor outcome. High hyperdiploidy (a modal chromosome number >50) and an age of 1 to 5 years were associated with a favorable outcome in patients with precursor B-cell leukemia. Allogeneic stem-cell transplantation from matched, related donors was associated with improved outcomes in T-cell leukemia. Children younger than 6 years of age with precursor B-cell leukemia and no adverse genetic features had a 10-year survival rate of 72±5% when treated with chemotherapy only.
CONCLUSIONS
Pediatric ALL with induction failure is highly heterogeneous. Patients who have T-cell leukemia appear to have a better outcome with allogeneic stem-cell transplantation than with chemotherapy, whereas patients who have precursor B-cell leukemia without other adverse features appear to have a better outcome with chemotherapy. (Funded by Deutsche Krebshilfe and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1110169
PMCID: PMC3374496  PMID: 22494120
3.  Genomic Imbalances Are Confined to Non-Proliferating Cells in Paediatric Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia and a Normal or Incomplete Karyotype 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e20607.
Leukaemia is often associated with genetic alterations such as translocations, amplifications and deletions, and recurrent chromosome abnormalities are used as markers of diagnostic and prognostic relevance. However, a proportion of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) cases have an apparently normal karyotype despite comprehensive cytogenetic analysis. Based on conventional cytogenetic analysis of banded chromosomes, we selected a series of 23 paediatric patients with acute myeloid leukaemia and performed whole genome array comparative genome hybridization (aCGH) using DNA samples derived from the same patients. Imbalances involving large chromosomal regions or entire chromosomes were detected by aCGH in seven of the patients studied. Results were validated by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to both interphase nuclei and metaphase chromosomes using appropriate bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) probes. The majority of these copy number alterations (CNAs) were confirmed by FISH and found to localize to the interphase rather than metaphase nuclei. Furthermore, the proliferative states of the cells analyzed by FISH were tested by immunofluorescence using an antibody against the proliferation marker pKi67. Interestingly, these experiments showed that, in the vast majority of cases, the changes appeared to be confined to interphase nuclei in a non-proliferative status.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020607
PMCID: PMC3111408  PMID: 21694761
4.  In Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Blasts At Different Stages Of Immunophenotypic Maturation Have Stem Cell Properties 
Cancer cell  2008;14(1):47-58.
Summary
We examined the leukemic stem cell potential of blasts at different stages of maturation in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Human leukemic bone marrow was transplanted intrafemorally into NOD/scid mice. Cells sorted using the B precursor differentiation markers CD19, CD20 and CD34 were isolated from patient samples and engrafted mice before serial transplantation into primary or subsequent (up to quaternary) recipients. Surprisingly, blasts representative of all the different maturational stages were able to reconstitute and re-establish the complete leukemic phenotype in vivo. Sorted blast populations mirrored normal B precursor cells with transcription of a number of stage-appropriate genes. These observations have informed a model for leukemia-propagating stem cells in childhood ALL.
doi:10.1016/j.ccr.2008.05.015
PMCID: PMC2572185  PMID: 18598943

Results 1-4 (4)