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Meijerink J.P.P.,Erasmus MC Rotterdam Sophia Childrens Hospital
Best Practice and Research: Clinical Haematology | Year: 2010

Mutually exclusive oncogenic rearrangements may delineate specific T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL) subgroups, and so far at least 4 molecular-cytogenetic subgroups have been identified, i.e. the TAL/LMO, the TLX1/HOX11, the TLX3/HOX11L2 and the HOXA subgroups. A fifth group with an immature immunophenotype that can be predicted by an early T-cell precursor signature has also been identified, and has been associated with poor outcome. The association of these subgroups with the expression of specific immunophenotypic markers reflecting arrest at specific T-cell developmental stages will be reviewed. These strong associations urge the need to extensively study oncogenic rearrangements and immunophenotypic markers in relation to outcome for future treatment protocols, both for paediatric as well as adult T-ALL patients. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Zuurbier L.,Erasmus MC Rotterdam Sophia Childrens Hospital | Gutierrez A.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Mullighan C.G.,St Jude Childrens Research Hospital | Cante-Barrett K.,Erasmus MC Rotterdam Sophia Childrens Hospital | And 12 more authors.
Haematologica | Year: 2014

Three distinct immature T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia entities have been described including cases that express an early T-cell precursor immunophenotype or expression profile, immature MEF2C-dysregulated T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cluster cases based on gene expression analysis (immature cluster) and cases that retain non-rearranged TRG@ loci. Early T-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia cases exclusively overlap with immature cluster samples based on the expression of early T-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia signature genes, indicating that both are featuring a single disease entity. Patients lacking TRG@ rearrangements represent only 40% of immature cluster cases, but no further evidence was found to suggest that cases with absence of bi-allelic TRG@ deletions reflect a distinct and even more immature disease entity. Immature cluster/early T-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia cases are strongly enriched for genes expressed in hematopoietic stem cells as well as genes expressed in normal early thymocyte progenitor or double negative-2A T-cell subsets. Identification of early T-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia cases solely by defined immunophenotypic criteria strongly underestimates the number of cases that have a corresponding gene signature. However, early T-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia samples correlate best with a CD1 negative, CD4 and CD8 double negative immunophe-notype with expression of CD34 and/or myeloid markers CD13 or CD33. Unlike various other studies, immature cluster/early T-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients treated on the COALL-97 protocol did not have an overall inferior outcome, and demonstrated equal sensitivity levels to most conventional therapeutic drugs compared to other pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients. © 2013 Ferrata Storti Foundation.

Zuurbier L.,Erasmus MC Rotterdam Sophia Childrens Hospital | Petricoin E.F.,George Mason University | Petricoin E.F.,U.S. Food and Drug Administration | Vuerhard M.J.,Erasmus MC Rotterdam Sophia Childrens Hospital | And 13 more authors.
Haematologica | Year: 2012

Background PI3K/AKT pathway mutations are found in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, but their overall impact and associations with other genetic aberrations is unknown. PTEN mutations have been proposed as secondary mutations that follow NOTCH1-activating mutations and cause cellular resistance to γ-secretase inhibitors. Design and Methods The impact of PTEN, PI3K and AKT aberrations was studied in a genetically well-characterized pediatric T-cell leukemia patient cohort (n=146) treated on DCOG or COALL protocols. Results PTEN and AKT E17K aberrations were detected in 13% and 2% of patients, respectively. Defective PTEN-splicing was identified in incidental cases. Patients without PTEN protein but lacking exon-, splice-, promoter mutations or promoter hypermethylation were present. PTEN/AKTmutations were especially abundant in TAL- or LMO-rearranged leukemia but nearly absent in TLX3-rearranged patients (P=0.03), the opposite to that observed for NOTCH1- activating mutations. Most PTEN/AKT mutant patients either lacked NOTCH1-activating mutations (P=0.006) or had weak NOTCH1-activating mutations (P=0.011), and consequently expressed low intracellular NOTCH1, cMYC and MUSASHI levels. T-cell leukemia patients without PTEN/AKT and NOTCH1-activating mutations fared well, with a cumulative incidence of relapse of only 8% versus 35% for PTEN/AKT and/or NOTCH1-activated patients (P=0.005). Conclusions PI3K/AKT pathway aberrations are present in 18% of pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients. Absence of strong NOTCH1-activating mutations in these cases may explain cellular insensitivity to γ-secretase inhibitors. ©2012 Ferrata Storti Foundation.

Homminga I.,Erasmus MC Rotterdam Sophia Childrens Hospital | Zwaan C.M.,Erasmus MC Rotterdam Sophia Childrens Hospital | Manz C.Y.,Mundipharma International Ltd | Parker C.,Biological Science Inc. | And 5 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2011

Forodesine and nelarabine (the pro-drug of ara-G) are 2 nucleoside analogues with promising anti-leukemic activity. To better understand which pediatric patients might benefit from forodesine or nelarabine (ara-G) therapy, we investigated the in vitro sensitivity to these drugs in 96 diagnostic pediatric leukemia patient samples and the mRNA expression levels of different enzymes involved in nucleoside metabolism. Forodesine and ara-G cytotoxicities were higher in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) samples than in B-cell precursor (BCP)-ALL and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) samples. Resistance to forodesine did not preclude ara-G sensitivity and vice versa, indicating that both drugs rely on different resistance mechanisms. Differences in sensitivity could be partly explained by significantly higher accumulation of intra-cellular dGTP in forodesine-sensitive samples compared with resistant samples, and higher mRNA levels of dGK but not dCK. The mRNA levels of the transporters ENT1 and ENT2 were higher in ara-G-sensitive than -resistant samples. We conclude that especially T-ALL, but also BCP-ALL, pediatric patients may benefit from forodesine or nelarabine (ara-G) treatment. © 2011 by The American Society of Hematology.

Cante-Barrett K.,Erasmus MC Rotterdam Sophia Childrens Hospital
Leukemia | Year: 2016

We identified mutations in the IL7Ra gene or in genes encoding the downstream signaling molecules JAK1, JAK3, STAT5B, N-RAS, K-RAS, NF1, AKT and PTEN in 49% of patients with pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). Strikingly, these mutations (except RAS/NF1) were mutually exclusive, suggesting that they each cause the aberrant activation of a common downstream target. Expressing these mutant signaling molecules—but not their wild-type counterparts—rendered Ba/F3 cells independent of IL3 by activating the RAS-MEK-ERK and PI3K-AKT pathways. Interestingly, cells expressing either IL7Ra or JAK mutants are sensitive to JAK inhibitors, but respond less robustly to inhibitors of the downstream RAS-MEK-ERK and PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathways, indicating that inhibiting only one downstream pathway is not sufficient. Here, we show that inhibiting both the MEK and PI3K-AKT pathways synergistically prevents the proliferation of BaF3 cells expressing mutant IL7Ra, JAK and RAS. Furthermore, combined inhibition of MEK and PI3K/AKT was cytotoxic to samples obtained from 6 out of 11 primary T-ALL patients, including 1 patient who had no mutations in the IL7R signaling pathway. Taken together, these results suggest that the potent cytotoxic effects of inhibiting both MEK and PI3K/AKT should be investigated further as a therapeutic option using leukemia xenograft models.Leukemia advance online publication, 13 May 2016; doi:10.1038/leu.2016.83. © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited

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