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Keywords:

  • Burkitt lymphoma/leukemia;
  • IGH/MYC gene fusion;
  • pediatric;
  • secondary chromosomal abnormalities;
  • t(8 ;14)(q24 ;q32)

Abstract

Background

Burkitt lymphoma/leukemia (BL/L) is cytogenetically characterized by the t(8;14)(q24;q32) or its variants, t(2;8)(p11;q21), and t(8;22)(q24;q11.2), which juxtapose the MYC oncogene to one of the three immunoglobulin loci. The overall cure rate of BL/L in children is 70–90%, but patients diagnosed with advanced-stage disease have a less favorable prognosis. It is possible that secondary chromosomal abnormalities contribute to this unfavorable prognosis via chemotherapy resistance, but the results of genetic studies have been inconsistent. This study aimed to identify and characterize secondary chromosomal abnormalities associated with the t(8;14) and its variants in children with French-American-British-L3 leukemia or Burkitt lymphoma with bone marrow involvement at the time of diagnosis.

Procedure

Chromosome analysis was based on G-banding. Fluorescence in situ hybridization technique was applied using IGH/MYC/CEP8 dual-fusion and MYC break-apart probes. Multicolor chromosome banding was performed according to standard protocol.

Results

We describe a group of BL/L with extreme adverse clinical outcome, in which secondary chromosomal abnormalities, particularly those involving the long arms of chromosomes 1 and 13, were found in 71% of cases. The IGH/MYC fusion showed molecular heterogeneity in 14% of cases and two cases exhibited three IGH/MYC fusion signals.

Conclusions

Secondary chromosomal abnormalities were found in a high proportion of patients. We observed an extent of IGH/MYC heterogeneity not previously reported in Burkitt lymphoma, including the novel finding of three fusion signals in two cases. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2014; 61:1422–1426. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.