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Schmitz, M; Breithaupt, P; Scheidegger, N; Cario, G; Bonapace, L; Meissner, B; Mirkowska, P; Tchinda, J; Niggli, F K; Stanulla, M; Schrappe, M; Schrauder, A; Bornhauser, B C; Bourquin, J P (2011). Xenografts of highly resistant leukemia recapitulate the clonal composition of the leukemogenic compartment. Blood, 118(7):1854-1864.

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Clonal evolution of the leukemogenic compartment may contribute to alter the therapeutic response in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Using xenotransplantation of primary leukemia cells, we evaluated the phenotypic and genetic composition of de novo resistant very high risk precursor B-cell ALL, a subgroup defined by the persistence of minimal residual disease despite intensive chemotherapy. Analysis of copy number alterations (CNAs) showed that the xenografted leukemia, even when reconstituted from 100 cells, remained highly related to the diagnostic sample, with minor changes in CNAs, mostly deletions, emerging in most cases in the first passage into mice. At the single-cell level, the pattern of monoallelic and biallelic deletions of the CDKN2A locus revealed distinct leukemia subpopulations, which were reproducibly tracked in xenografts. In most very high risk ALL cases, the predominant diagnostic clones were reconstituted in xenografts, as shown by multiplex polymerase chain reaction analysis of immunoglobulin and T-cell receptor loci. In other cases, the pattern in CNAs and immunoglobulin and T-cell receptor rearrangement was less concordant in xenografts, suggesting the outgrowth of subclones. These results unequivocally demonstrate the existence of clonally closely related but distinct subsets of leukemia initiating cells in ALL, which has important implications for drug development and preclinical disease modeling.


23 citations in Web of Science®
27 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Deposited On:15 Jan 2012 22:01
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:22
Publisher:American Society of Hematology
Publisher DOI:10.1182/blood-2010-11-320309
PubMed ID:21670474

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