Burkitt lymphoma (BL), an aggressive B-cell malignancy, is often curable with short intensive treatment regiments. Nearly all BLs contain rearrangements of the MYC/8q24 region; however, recent cytogenetic studies suggest that certain secondary chromosomal aberrations in BL correlate with an adverse prognosis. In this multi-centre study, the frequency and impact on clinical outcome of del(13q) and +7 in addition to MYC rearrangements as detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in children and adolescents with intermediate and high-risk BL registered on Children's Cancer Group study CCG-5961 were investigated. Analysis with 13q14.3 and 13q34 loci specific probes demonstrated deletions of 13q in 38/90 (42%) cases. The loss of either 13q14.3 or 13q34 alone occurred in 14% and 8% respectively, while 20% exhibited loss of both regions. Gain of chromosome 7 was observed in 7/68 (10%) cases and MYC rearrangements were detected in 84/90 (93%). Prognostic analysis controlling for known risk factors demonstrated that patients exhibiting loss of 13q, particularly 13q14.3, had a significant decrease in 5-year overall survival (77% vs. 95%, P = 0·012). These observations indicate that del(13q) occurs in childhood BL at frequencies higher than previously detected by classical cytogenetics and underscores the importance of molecular cytogenetics in risk stratification.
- Burkitt lymphoma
- Chromosome 13 deletion
- Fluorescence in situ hybridization
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