Tumor suppressor gene alteration in adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Analysis of retinoblastoma (Rb) and p53 gene expression in lymphoblasts of patients with de novo, relapsed, or refractory ALL treated in southwest oncology group studies

T. Tsai, S. Davalath, C. Rankin, J. P. Radich, D. Head, F. R. Appelbaum, D. H. Boldt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

To examine the impact of inactivation of tumor suppressor genes on outcome in adult ALL, we compared two groups of patients registered to SWOG treatment protocols for loss of the Rb gene product and p53 overexpression: (1)89 patients with de novo ALL, and (2) 26 patients with relapsed/refractory ALL. The groups were comparable with respect to age, sex, and race. Cell lysates (≥80% blasts) were analyzed by immunoblotting which enabled detection of Rb or p53 proteins in as little as 1 μg of lysate. Loss of Rb expression (pRbneg) was found in 54/85 (64%) de novo and 11/19 (58%) relapsed patients (P = 0.79). Overexpression of p53 (p53abn), indicative of p53 point mutations, was found in 16/75 (21%) de novo and 8/19 (42%) relapsed patients (P = 0.08). Using a nonisotopic RNase cleavage assay, p53 point mutations in exons 5-9 were confirmed in 14/23 (61%) p53abn specimens. For the de novo ALL group, patients with normal Rb protein had higher WBC and higher peripheral blast and lymphocyte counts. Otherwise neither abnormal Rb or p53 expression correlated with any of a large panel of clinical and laboratory variables including FAB class, blast lineage, expression of myeloid antigens or CD34, and presence of the Ph1 chromosome or BCR-ABL. Analyses of treatment outcomes demonstrated no significant impact of Rb or p53 status alone on CR rates, relapse-free or overall survival. An identical percentage (11%) of both de novo and relapsed/refractory patients had concurrent abnormalities of both Rb and p53 expression (pRbneg/p53abn). The survival curve of these patients suggests an increased rate of early death, but the number of patients in this group was small. Summarizing, (1) loss of Rb expression is common in adult ALL; (2) overexpression of p53 may be more frequent in relapsed/refractory than de novo adult ALL; and (3) although Rb or p53 alterations alone are not strong independent predictors of outcome, their concurrent expression may predict a poor response to therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1901-1910
Number of pages10
JournalLeukemia
Volume10
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1996

Keywords

  • ALL
  • Retinoblastoma (Rb) gene
  • Tumor suppressor genes
  • p53

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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