Do focal 22q11.22 deletions identify patients with IKZF1 alterations who will have worse outcomes in childhood B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL)?
In this cohort study of 1310 patients with B-ALL in 6 independent cohorts, focal 22q11.22 deletions were common (39.5%) in B-ALL and, when co-occurring with IKZF1 alterations, were associated with poor outcomes compared with patients with IKZF1 alterations alone (5-year event-free survival rates, 43.3% vs 68.5%; 5-year overall survival rates, 66.9% vs 83.9%).
The study results suggest that 22q11.22 deletions are associated with very poor clinical outcomes in patients with B-ALL with IKZF1 alterations.
Alterations in the IKZF1 gene drive B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) but are not routinely used to stratify patients by risk because of inconsistent associations with outcomes. We describe a novel deletion in 22q11.22 that was consistently associated with very poor outcomes in patients with B-ALL with IKZF1 alterations.
To determine whether focal deletions within the λ variable chain region in chromosome 22q11.22 were associated with patients with B-ALL with IKZF1 alterations with the highest risk of relapse and/or death.
Design, Setting, and Participants
This cohort study included 1310 primarily high-risk pediatric patients with B-ALL who were taken from 6 independent clinical cohorts, consisting of 3 multicenter cohorts (AALL0232 [2004-2011], P9906 [2000-2003], and patients with Down syndrome who were pooled from national and international studies) and 3 single-institution cohorts (University of Utah [Salt Lake City], Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], and St. Jude Children’s Hospital [Memphis, Tennessee]). Data analysis began in 2011 using patients from the older studies first, and data analysis concluded in 2021.
Focal 22q11.22 deletions.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Event-free and overall survival was investigated. The hypothesis that 22q11.22 deletions stratified the prognostic effect of IKZF1 alterations was formulated while investigating nearby deletions in VPREB1 in 2 initial cohorts (n = 270). Four additional cohorts were then obtained to further study this association (n = 1040).
This study of 1310 patients with B-ALL (717 male [56.1%] and 562 female patients [43.9%]) found that focal 22q11.22 deletions are frequent (518 of 1310 [39.5%]) in B-ALL and inconsistent with physiologic V(D)J recombination. A total of 299 of 1310 patients with B-ALL had IKZF1 alterations. Among patients with IKZF1 alterations, more than half shared concomitant focal 22q11.22 deletions (159 of 299 [53.0%]). Patients with combined IKZF1 alterations and 22q11.22 deletions had worse outcomes compared with patients with IKZF1 alterations and wild-type 22q11.22 alleles in every cohort examined (combined cohorts: 5-year event-free survival rates, 43.3% vs 68.5%; hazard ratio [HR], 2.18; 95% CI, 1.54-3.07; P < .001; 5-year overall survival rates, 66.9% vs 83.9%; HR, 2.05; 95% CI, 1.32-3.21; P = .001). While 22q11.22 deletions were not prognostic in patients with wild-type IKZF1 , concomitant 22q11.22 deletions in patients with IKZF1 alterations stratified outcomes across additional risk groups, including patients who met the IKZF1plus criteria, and maintained independent significance in multivariate analysis for event-free survival (HR, 2.05; 95% CI, 1.27-3.29; P = .003) and overall survival (HR, 1.83; 95% CI, 1.01-3.34; P = .05).
Conclusions and Relevance
This cohort study suggests that 22q11.22 deletions identify patients with B-ALL and IKZF1 alterations who have very poor outcomes and may offer a new genetic biomarker to further refine B-ALL risk stratification and treatment strategies.
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Mangum DS, Meyer JA, Mason CC, et al. Association of Combined Focal 22q11.22 Deletion and IKZF1 Alterations With Outcomes in Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. JAMA Oncol. 2021;7(10):1521–1528. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2021.2723
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