SFPQ-ABL1-positive B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemias

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In recent years, a subgroup of B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP ALL) without an established abnormality (“B-other”) has been shown to be characterized by rearrangements of ABL1, ABL2, CSF1R, or PDGFRB (a.k.a. ABL-class genes). Using FISH with probes for these genes, we screened 55 pediatric and 50 adult B-other cases. Three (6%) of the adult but none of the childhood B-other cases were positive for ABL-class aberrations. RT-PCR and sequencing confirmed a rare SFPQ-ABL1 fusion in one adult B-other case with t(1;9)(p34;q34). Only six SFPQ-ABL1-positive BCP ALLs have been reported, present case included. A review of these shows that all harbored fusions between exon 9 of SFPQ and exon 4 of ABL1, that the fusion is typically found in adolescents/younger adults without hyperleukocytosis, and that IKZF1 deletions are recurrent. The few patients not treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) and/or allogeneic stem cell transplantation relapsed, strengthening the notion that TKI should be added to the therapy of SFPQ-ABL1-positive BCP ALL.




Biloglav, A., Olsson-Arvidsson, L., Theander, J., Behrendtz, M., Castor, A., & Johansson, B. (2020). SFPQ-ABL1-positive B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemias. Genes Chromosomes and Cancer, 59(9), 540–543. https://doi.org/10.1002/gcc.22852

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