Genetic markers for treatment-related pancreatitis in a cohort of Hispanic children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Allison C. Grimes, Yidong Chen, Hima Bansal, Christine Aguilar, Luz Perez Prado, Gerardo Quezada, Jaime Estrada, Gail E. Tomlinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: Treatment-related pancreatitis (TRP) is a serious complication occurring in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Those affected are at high risk for severe organ toxicity and treatment delays that can impact outcomes. TRP is associated with asparaginase, a standard therapeutic agent in childhood ALL. Native American ancestry, older age, high-risk leukemia, and increased use of asparaginase are linked to pancreatitis risk. However, dedicated genetic studies evaluating pancreatitis in childhood ALL include few Hispanics. Thus, the genetic basis for higher risk of pancreatitis among Hispanic children with ALL remains unknown. Methods: Cases of children with ALL treated in from 1994 through 2013 were reviewed and identified 14, all Hispanic, who developed pancreatitis related to asparaginase therapy. Forty-six controls consisting of Hispanic children treated on the same regimens without pancreatitis were selected for comparison. Total DNA isolated from whole blood was used for targeted DNA sequencing of 23 selected genes, including genes associated with pancreatitis without ALL and genes involved in asparagine metabolism. Results: Non-synonymous polymorphisms and frameshift deletions were detected in 15 genes. Most children with TRP had variants in ABAT, ASNS, and CFTR. Notably, children with TRP harbored many more CFTR variants (71.4%) compared with controls (39.1%). Among these, V470M (rs213950) was most frequent (OR 4.27, p = 0.025). Conclusions: This is the first study of genetic factors in treatment-related pancreatitis in Hispanic children with ALL. Identifying correlative variants in ethnically vulnerable populations may improve screening to identify which patients with ALL are at greatest risk for pancreatitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-731
Number of pages7
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Adverse effect
  • Genetic variant
  • Leukemia
  • Pancreatitis
  • Pediatric cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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