Publications by authors named "Lucienne Michaux"

78 Publications

The CADM1 tumor suppressor gene is a major candidate gene in MDS with deletion of the long arm of chromosome 11.

Blood Adv 2021 Oct 12. Epub 2021 Oct 12.

Belgian Cancer Registry, Brussels, Belgium.

Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) represent a heterogeneous group of clonal hematopoietic stem-cell disorders characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis leading to peripheral cytopenias and in a substantial proportion of cases to acute myeloid leukemia. The deletion of the long arm of chromosome 11, del(11q), is a rare but recurrent clonal event in MDS. Here, we detail the largest series of 113 cases of MDS and myelodysplastic syndromes/myeloproliferative neoplasms (MDS/MPN) harboring a del(11q) analyzed at clinical, cytological, cytogenetic and molecular levels. Female predominance, a survival prognosis similar to other MDS, a low monocyte count and dysmegakaryopoiesis were the specific clinical and cytological features of del(11q) MDS. In most cases, del(11q) was isolated, primary and interstitial encompassing the 11q22-23 region containing ATM, KMT2A and CBL genes. The common deleted region at 11q23.2 is centered on an intergenic region between CADM1 (also known as TSLC1, Tumour Suppressor in Lung Cancer 1) and NXPE2. CADM1 was expressed in all myeloid cells analyzed in contrast to NXPE2. At the functional level, the deletion of Cadm1 in murine Lineage-Sca1+Kit+ cells modifies the lymphoid to myeloid ratio in bone marrow although not altering their multi-lineage hematopoietic reconstitution potential after syngenic transplantation. Together with the frequent simultaneous deletions of KMT2A, ATM and CBL and mutations of ASXL1, SF3B1 and CBL, we show that CADM1 may be important in the physiopathology of the del(11q) MDS, extending its role as tumor-suppressor gene from solid tumors to hematopoietic malignancies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021005311DOI Listing
October 2021

Case Report: Spontaneous Remission of an Infraorbital Follicular B-Cell Lymphoma: Case Report and Review of the Literature.

Pathol Oncol Res 2021 8;27:642433. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Non-Hodgkin lymphomas comprise a heterogeneous group of malignancies, with a wide scope of clinical, radiological and histological presentations. In this paper, a case is presented of a 59-year-old white male with an infraorbital follicular B-cell lymphoma, which appeared as a painless mass in the left cheek. The lymphoma achieved spontaneous remission five and a half months after his diagnostic incision biopsy. The literature is reviewed, focusing on this rare site of presentation and spontaneous remission. In literature, only four cases have been reported with a follicular B-cell lymphoma of the cheek or infraorbital region, and only 26 cases of spontaneous remission of an extracranial non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the head and neck region have been described. To the authors' best knowledge, this is the first time spontaneous remission of an infraorbital follicular lymphoma could be observed. The nature of the processes inducing spontaneous remission remains obscure. It is important to recognize this phenomenon as this might prevent unnecessary treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/pore.2021.642433DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8262163PMC
April 2021

Next generation sequencing in therapy-related myeloid neoplasms compared to myeloid neoplasms.

Acta Clin Belg 2021 Jul 1:1-6. Epub 2021 Jul 1.

Department of Laboratory Medicine, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Introduction: Therapy-related myeloid neoplasms (t-MN) are frequently categorized according to previous therapy or pattern of cytogenetic abnormalities. Our objective was to evaluate and compare the mutational profile of and t-MN by next generation sequencing.

Methods: Sixty-four samples from patients with t-MN, previously treated for a solid tumor (mainly breast), or AML, MDS, MDS/MPN were selected for our study. The library was prepared using diagnostic samples and the TruSight Myeloid sequencing panel targeting 54 genes. Samples were sequenced on a MiSeq. The classification system of the Belgian ComPerMed Expert Panel was used for the biological variant classification.

Results: Taking only pathogenic, probably pathogenic variants and variants of unknown significance into account 141 variants in 33 genes were found in 52 of 64 samples (81%; mean number of variants per patient = 2; range = [1-11]; 67 variants in 25 genes in t-MN and 74 variants in 25 genes in MN). Overall, the most frequently detected variants included (n = 22), (n = 12), (n = 10) and (n = 8 each).

Conclusion: Our study revealed a high variety of variants both in t-MN and MN patients. There was a higher incidence of and variants in t-MN compared to MN.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17843286.2021.1943232DOI Listing
July 2021

Fusion transcripts FYN-TRAF3IP2 and KHDRBS1-LCK hijack T cell receptor signaling in peripheral T-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified.

Nat Commun 2021 06 17;12(1):3705. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

Laboratory for Experimental Hematology, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) is a heterogeneous group of non-Hodgkin lymphomas with poor prognosis. Up to 30% of PTCL lack distinctive features and are classified as PTCL, not otherwise specified (PTCL-NOS). To further improve our understanding of the genetic landscape and biology of PTCL-NOS, we perform RNA-sequencing of 18 cases and validate results in an independent cohort of 37 PTCL cases. We identify FYN-TRAF3IP2, KHDRBS1-LCK and SIN3A-FOXO1 as new in-frame fusion transcripts, with FYN-TRAF3IP2 as a recurrent fusion detected in 8 of 55 cases. Using ex vivo and in vivo experiments, we demonstrate that FYN-TRAF3IP2 and KHDRBS1-LCK activate signaling pathways downstream of the T cell receptor (TCR) complex and confer therapeutic vulnerability to clinically available drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-24037-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8211700PMC
June 2021

Comprehensive genome-wide analysis of routine non-invasive test data allows cancer prediction: A single-center retrospective analysis of over 85,000 pregnancies.

EClinicalMedicine 2021 May 13;35:100856. Epub 2021 May 13.

Department of Oncology, KU Leuven, Herestraat 49, Leuven, Belgium.

Background: Implausible false positive results in non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) have been occasionally associated with the detection of occult maternal malignancies. Hence, there is a need for approaches allowing accurate prediction of whether the NIPT result is pointing to an underlying malignancy, as well as for organized programs ensuring efficient downstream clinical management of these cases.

Methods: Using a data set of 88,294 NIPT performed at University Hospital Leuven (Belgium) between November 2013 and March 2020, we retrospectively evaluated the positive predictive value (PPV) of our NIPT approach for cancer detection. In this approach, whole-genome cell-free DNA (cfDNA) data from NIPT were scrutinized for the presence of (sub)chromosomal copy number alterations (CNAs) predictive for a malignancy, using an unbiased NIPT analysis pipeline coined GIPSeq. For suspected cases, the presence of a maternal cancer was evaluated via subsequent multidisciplinary clinical follow-up examinations. The cancer-specificity of the identified CNAs in cfDNA was assessed through genetic analyses of a tumor biopsy.

Findings: Fifteen women without a cancer history were identified with a GIPSeq result suggestive of a malignant process. Their cfDNA profiles showed either genome-wide aberrations or a single trisomy 8. Upon clinical examinations, a solid or hematological cancer was identified in 4 and 7 cases, respectively. Three women were identified as having a clonal mosaicism. For one case no underlying condition was found. These numbers add to a PPV of 73%. Based on this experience, we presented a multidisciplinary care path for efficient clinical management of these cases.

Interpretation: The presented approach for analysing NIPT results has a high PPV, yet unknown sensitivity, for detecting asymptomatic malignancies upon routine NIPT. Given the complexity of diagnosing a pregnant woman with cancer, clinical follow-up should occur in a well-designed multidisciplinary setting, such as via the care model that we presented here.

Funding: This work was supported by Research Foundation Flanders and KU Leuven funding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.100856DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8138727PMC
May 2021

Ultra-low coverage whole genome sequencing of ccfDNA in multiple myeloma: A tool for laboratory routine?

Cancer Treat Res Commun 2021 25;28:100380. Epub 2021 Apr 25.

Center for Human Genetics, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. Electronic address:

Multiple myeloma (MM), is a heterogeneous disease in which chromosomal abnormalities are important for prognostic risk stratification. Cytogenetic profiling with FISH on plasma cells from bone marrow samples (BM-PCs) is the current gold standard, but variable infiltration of plasma cells or failed aspiration can hamper this process. Ultra-low coverage sequencing (ULCS) of circulating cell-free DNA (ccfDNA) may offer a minimally invasive alternative for the work-up of these cases. We compared ULCS, aCGH and FISH on selected BM-PCs in a routine setting with ULCS of ccfDNA for the detection of somatic copy number aberrations (CNAs) in MM.

Methods: Purified CD138+ BM-PCs of 23 MM patients at initiation of their treatment were subjected to aCGH, FISH and ULCS. Paired samples of peripheral blood-ccfDNA obtained at diagnosis were analyzed by ULCS and compared to the results found in BM-PCs.

Results: Using ULCS of ccfDNA, cytogenetic markers were identified in 18 out of 23 patients; five cases could not be analyzed due to low (≤3%) tumor fraction (TF). High similarity between CNA profiles of BM-PCs and ccfDNA was found. Moreover, 78% of the ccfDNA profiles resulted in the same risk classification as the routine FISH and/or BM-PCs ULCS and aCGH. Chromothripsis was detected in five patients; these had the highest TF values (range 7.1% to 42%) in our series and their profiles showed other high-risk anomalies.

Conclusion: This proof-of-principle study indicates that ULCS of ccfDNA can reveal CNAs in MM and should be explored further as a cost-efficient alternative, especially in cases where BM-PC purification fails.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ctarc.2021.100380DOI Listing
April 2021

Addition of lenalidomide to intensive treatment in younger and middle-aged adults with newly diagnosed AML: the HOVON-SAKK-132 trial.

Blood Adv 2021 02;5(4):1110-1121

Medisch Spectrum Leeuwarden, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.

Lenalidomide, an antineoplastic and immunomodulatory drug, has therapeutic activity in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but definitive studies about its therapeutic utility have been lacking. In a phase 3 study, we compared 2 induction regimens in newly diagnosed patients age 18 to 65 years with AML: idarubicine-cytarabine (cycle 1) and daunorubicin and intermediate-dose cytarabine (cycle 2) without or with lenalidomide (15 mg orally on days 1-21). One final consolidation cycle of chemotherapy or autologous stem cell transplantation (auto-SCT) or allogeneic SCT (allo-SCT) was provided according to a prognostic risk and minimal residual disease (MRD)-adapted approach. Event-free survival (EFS; primary end point) and other clinical end points were assessed. A second random assignment in patients in complete response or in complete response with incomplete hematologic recovery after cycle 3 or auto-SCT involved 6 cycles of maintenance with lenalidomide (10 mg on days 1-21) or observation. In all, 392 patients were randomly assigned to the control group, and 388 patients were randomly assigned to lenalidomide induction. At a median follow-up of 41 months, the study revealed no differences in outcome between the treatments (EFS, 44% ± 2% standard error and overall survival, 54% ± 2% at 4 years for both arms) although in an exploratory post hoc analysis, a lenalidomide benefit was suggested in SRSF2-mutant AML. In relation to the previous Dutch-Belgian Hemato-Oncology Cooperative Group and Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research (HOVON-SAKK) studies that used a similar 3-cycle regimen but did not pursue an MRD-guided approach, these survival estimates compare markedly more favorably. MRD status after cycle 2 lost prognostic value in intermediate-risk AML in the risk-adjusted treatment context. Maintenance with lenalidomide showed no apparent effect on relapse probability in 88 patients randomly assigned for this part of the study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003855DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7903238PMC
February 2021

Efficacy of ruxolitinib in B-lymphoblastic leukaemia with the PCM1-JAK2 fusion gene.

Br J Haematol 2021 02 27;192(4):e112-e115. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Center for Human Genetics, University Hospitals Leuven and KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.17340DOI Listing
February 2021

Recommendations on the management of multiple myeloma in 2020.

Acta Clin Belg 2020 Dec 23:1-17. Epub 2020 Dec 23.

Institut Jules Bordet, ULB, Brussels, Belgium.

With the introduction of immunomodulatory drugs, proteasome inhibitors, and anti-CD38 monoclonal antibodies, major improvements have been achieved in the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM), with a significant impact on the outcome of this disease. Different treatment combinations are now in use and other therapies are being developed. Based on an extensive review of the recent literature, we propose practical recommendations on myeloma management, to be used by hematologists as a reference for daily practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17843286.2020.1860411DOI Listing
December 2020

Clinical and biological features of B-cell neoplasms with CDK6 translocations: an association with a subgroup of splenic marginal zone lymphomas displaying frequent CD5 expression, prolymphocytic cells, and TP53 abnormalities.

Br J Haematol 2021 04 13;193(1):72-82. Epub 2020 Dec 13.

Service d'Hématologie Biologique, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris (APHP), Paris, France.

A translocation involving the cyclin-dependent kinase 6 (CDK6) gene [t(CDK6)] is a rare but recurrent abnormality in B-cell neoplasms. To further characterise this aberration, we studied 57 cases; the largest series reported to date. Fluorescence in situ hybridisation analysis confirmed the involvement of CDK6 in all cases, including t(2;7)(p11;q21) immunoglobulin kappa locus (IGK)/CDK6 (n = 51), t(7;14)(q21;q32) CDK6/immunoglobulin heavy locus (IGH) (n = 2) and the previously undescribed t(7;14)(q21;q11) CDK6/T-cell receptor alpha locus (TRA)/T-cell receptor delta locus (TRD) (n = 4). In total, 10 patients were diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis or small lymphocytic lymphoma, and 47 had small B-cell lymphoma (SmBL) including 36 cases of marginal zone lymphoma (MZL; 34 splenic MZLs, one nodal MZL and one bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma). In all, 18 of the 26 cytologically reviewed cases of MZL (69%) had an atypical aspect with prolymphocytic cells. Among the 47 patients with MZL/SmBL, CD5 expression was found in 26 (55%) and the tumour protein p53 (TP53) deletion in 22 (47%). The TP53 gene was mutated in 10/30 (33%); the 7q deletion was detected in only one case, and no Notch receptor 2 (NOTCH2) mutations were found. Immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable-region (IGHV) locus sequencing revealed that none harboured an IGHV1-02*04 gene. Overall survival was 82% at 10 years and not influenced by TP53 aberration. Our present findings suggest that most t(CDK6)+ neoplasms correspond to a particular subgroup of indolent marginal zone B-cell lymphomas with distinctive features.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.17141DOI Listing
April 2021

miR-15a-5p and miR-21-5p contribute to chemoresistance in cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukaemia by targeting PDCD4, ARL2 and BTG2.

J Cell Mol Med 2021 01 3;25(1):575-585. Epub 2020 Dec 3.

Department of Hematology, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Brussels, Belgium.

Cytarabine and daunorubicin are old drugs commonly used in the treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Refractory or relapsed disease because of chemotherapy resistance is a major issue. microRNAs (miRNAs) were incriminated in resistance. This study aimed to identify miRNAs involved in chemoresistance in AML patients and to define their target genes. We focused on cytogenetically normal AML patients with wild-type NPM1 without FLT3-ITD as the treatment of this subset of patients with intermediate-risk cytogenetics is not well established. We analysed baseline AML samples by small RNA sequencing and compared the profile of chemoresistant to chemosensitive AML patients. Among the miRNAs significantly overexpressed in chemoresistant patients, we revealed miR-15a-5p and miR-21-5p as miRNAs with a major role in chemoresistance in AML. We showed that miR-15a-5p and miR-21-5p overexpression decreased apoptosis induced by cytarabine and/or daunorubicin. PDCD4, ARL2 and BTG2 genes were found to be targeted by miR-15a-5p, as well as PDCD4 and BTG2 by miR-21-5p. Inhibition experiments of the three target genes reproduced the functional effect of both miRNAs on chemosensitivity. Our study demonstrates that miR-15a-5p and miR-21-5p are overexpressed in a subgroup of chemoresistant AML patients. Both miRNAs induce chemoresistance by targeting three pro-apoptotic genes PDCD4, ARL2 and BTG2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcmm.16110DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7810923PMC
January 2021

Noninvasive prenatal testing detected acute myeloid leukemia in paucisymptomatic pregnant patient.

Clin Case Rep 2020 Oct 20;8(10):1924-1927. Epub 2020 Jun 20.

Center for Human Genetics University Hospitals Leuven Leuven Belgium.

To the authors' best knowledge, this is the first report of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) detected by noninvasive prenatal testing. This was an aggressive case that otherwise would have been difficult to characterize due to disadvantages of "gold-standard" techniques.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ccr3.3027DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7562837PMC
October 2020

Single-cell DNA amplicon sequencing reveals clonal heterogeneity and evolution in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Blood 2021 02;137(6):801-811

Center for Human Genetics, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive leukemia that is most frequent in children and is characterized by the presence of few chromosomal rearrangements and 10 to 20 somatic mutations in protein-coding regions at diagnosis. The majority of T-ALL cases harbor activating mutations in NOTCH1 together with mutations in genes implicated in kinase signaling, transcriptional regulation, or protein translation. To obtain more insight in the level of clonal heterogeneity at diagnosis and during treatment, we used single-cell targeted DNA sequencing with the Tapestri platform. We designed a custom ALL panel and obtained accurate single-nucleotide variant and small insertion-deletion mutation calling for 305 amplicons covering 110 genes in about 4400 cells per sample and time point. A total of 108 188 cells were analyzed for 25 samples of 8 T-ALL patients. We typically observed a major clone at diagnosis (>35% of the cells) accompanied by several minor clones of which some were less than 1% of the total number of cells. Four patients had >2 NOTCH1 mutations, some of which present in minor clones, indicating a strong pressure to acquire NOTCH1 mutations in developing T-ALL cells. By analyzing longitudinal samples, we detected the presence and clonal nature of residual leukemic cells and clones with a minor presence at diagnosis that evolved to clinically relevant major clones at later disease stages. Therefore, single-cell DNA amplicon sequencing is a sensitive assay to detect clonal architecture and evolution in T-ALL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020006996DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7885827PMC
February 2021

Ultra-low depth sequencing of plasma cell DNA for the detection of copy number aberrations in multiple myeloma.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2020 08 5;59(8):465-471. Epub 2020 May 5.

Center for Human Genetics, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Cytogenetic abnormalities are powerful prognostic factors in multiple myeloma (MM) and are routinely analyzed by FISH on bone marrow (BM) plasma cells (PC). Although considered the gold standard, FISH experiments can be laborious and expensive. Therefore, array-CGH (aCGH) has been introduced as an alternative approach for detecting copy number aberrations (CNA), reducing the number of FISH experiments per case and yielding genome-wide information. Currently, next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies offer new perspectives for the diagnostic workup of malignant disorders. In this study, we examined ultra-low depth whole genome sequencing (LDS) as a valid alternative for aCGH for the detection of CNA in BM PC in MM. To this end, BM aspirates obtained in a diagnostic setting from 20 MM cases were analyzed. CD138+ cell-sorted samples were subjected to FISH analysis. DNA was extracted for subsequent aCGH and LDS analysis. CNA were detected by aCGH and LDS in all but one case. Importantly, all CNA identified by parallel first generation aCGH analysis were also detected by LDS, along with six additional CNA in five cases. One of these additional aberrations was in a region of prognostic importance in MM and was confirmed using FISH. However, risk stratification in these particular cases was unaffected. Thus, a perfectly concordant prognostication between array-CGH and LDS was observed. This validates LDS as a novel and cost-efficient tool for the detection of CNA in MM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gcc.22848DOI Listing
August 2020

Mediastinal Myeloid Sarcoma with TP53 Mutation Preceding Acute Myeloid Leukemia with a PICALM-MLLT10 Fusion Gene.

Acta Haematol 2018 18;140(2):97-104. Epub 2018 Sep 18.

Department of Hematology, AZ Sint-Jan Brugge-Oostende, Bruges, Belgium.

Introduction: Myeloid sarcoma (MS), previously known as granulocytic sarcoma or chloroma, is a rare neoplastic condition defined as a tumor mass consisting of myeloblasts or immature myeloid cells occurring at an extramedullary site. Clinical presentation is diverse and determined by a tumor mass effect or local organ dysfunction.

Case Report: We report the case of a 25-year-old previously healthy male with rapidly progressive shortness of breath. A chest CT scan demonstrated a heterogenous anterosuperior mediastinal mass with pleural and pericardial invasion. A diagnosis of MS with both myeloid and lymphoid characteristics was made by pathologic, morphologic, and immunophenotypic investigation. Next generation analysis revealed a pathogenic TP53 mutation (c.1035_1036insCT, p.Glu346Leufs*25). After 4 cycles of chemotherapy only a partial metabolic response and tumor size reduction was obtained. A pretransplant bone marrow biopsy revealed the progression of disease to acute myeloid leukemia. Cytogenetic analysis demonstrated a t(10; 11)(p12;q21). Fluorescence in situ hybridization confirmed the presence of a PICALM-MLLT10 fusion gene.

Conclusion: MS with a mediastinal localization is rare and often misdiagnosed as malignant lymphoma. Acute leukemia harboring a PICALM-MLLT10 fusion gene is characterized by a mixed T cell and myeloid phenotype. The rearrangement is a rare recurrent translocation associated with specific clinical features, as illustrated in this case report.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000491596DOI Listing
June 2019

A monocentric retrospective study of 138 therapy-related myeloid neoplasms.

Ann Hematol 2018 Dec 10;97(12):2319-2324. Epub 2018 Sep 10.

Department of Laboratory Medicine, University Hospitals Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000, Leuven, Belgium.

As diagnosing therapy-related myeloid neoplasms (t-MN) is often challenging, we reviewed clinicopathological features of t-MN patients. Medical records of 138 patients, diagnosed with t-MN between 1995 and 2017, were reviewed. Of 138 patients, 80 had t-MDS, 53 t-AML, and 5 t-MDS/MPN (age, 22-88 years; median 64 years; male/female ratio, 0.8). The median latency time was 6 years and 5 months. Of 115 patients, 56 patients received cytotoxic-/radiotherapy for a solid tumor, 56 for hematological malignancy, and 3 for an auto-immune disorder, respectively. Another 21 patients had a combination of 2 disorders. Moreover, 2 patients had 3 previous malignancies. Breast cancer was the most prevalent tumor, followed by low-grade B non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Immunophenotyping and immunohistochemistry showed aberrant expression of B-, T-, or NK-cell markers in 21% and 6%, respectively. In 90% of the patients, dysplasia in ≥ 1 lineage was found. KMT2A fusion gene transcripts were seen in 5%. Cytogenetic analysis showed complex karyotypes (31%) and chromosome 5 and/or 7 abnormalities (40%). Almost 82% of the patients died and the median overall survival was about 1 year. Our study confirms that previous therapy for breast cancer is the most important cause of t-MN. KMT2A fusion genes are prevalent and complex karyotypes and/or chromosomes 5 and/or 7 abnormalities are common.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-018-3462-yDOI Listing
December 2018

Single-cell sequencing reveals the origin and the order of mutation acquisition in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Leukemia 2018 06 18;32(6):1358-1369. Epub 2018 Apr 18.

Center for Human Genetics, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Next-generation sequencing has provided a detailed overview of the various genomic lesions implicated in the pathogenesis of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). Typically, 10-20 protein-altering lesions are found in T-ALL cells at diagnosis. However, it is currently unclear in which order these mutations are acquired and in which progenitor cells this is initiated. To address these questions, we used targeted single-cell sequencing of total bone marrow cells and CD34CD38 multipotent progenitor cells for four T-ALL cases. Hierarchical clustering detected a dominant leukemia cluster at diagnosis, accompanied by a few smaller clusters harboring only a fraction of the mutations. We developed a graph-based algorithm to determine the order of mutation acquisition. Two of the four patients had an early event in a known oncogene (MED12, STAT5B) among various pre-leukemic events. Intermediate events included loss of 9p21 (CDKN2A/B) and acquisition of fusion genes, while NOTCH1 mutations were typically late events. Analysis of CD34CD38 cells and myeloid progenitors revealed that in half of the cases somatic mutations were detectable in multipotent progenitor cells. We demonstrate that targeted single-cell sequencing can elucidate the order of mutation acquisition in T-ALL and that T-ALL development can start in a multipotent progenitor cell.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-018-0127-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5990522PMC
June 2018

"Double-hit" chronic lymphocytic leukemia: An aggressive subgroup with 17p deletion and 8q24 gain.

Am J Hematol 2018 03 18;93(3):375-382. Epub 2017 Dec 18.

INSERM UMR_S 1138, Centre de Recherche des Cordeliers, Paris, France.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) with 17p deletion (17p-) is associated with a lack of response to standard treatment and thus the worst possible clinical outcome. Various chromosomal abnormalities (including unbalanced translocations, deletions, ring chromosomes and isochromosomes) result in the loss of 17p and one copy of the TP53 gene. The objective of the present study was to determine whether the type of chromosomal abnormality leading to 17p- and the additional aberrations influenced the prognosis in a series of 195 patients with 17p-CLL. Loss of 17p resulted primarily from an unbalanced translocation (70%) with several chromosome partners (the most frequent being chromosome 18q), followed by deletion 17p (23%), monosomy 17 (8%), isochromosome 17q [i(17q)] (5%) and a ring chromosome 17 (2%). In a univariate analysis, monosomy 17, a highly complex karyotype (≥5 abnormalities), and 8q24 gain were associated with poor treatment-free survival, and i(17q) (P = .04), unbalanced translocations (P = .03) and 8q24 gain (P = .001) were significantly associated with poor overall survival. In a multivariate analysis, 8q24 gain remained a significant predictor of poor overall survival. We conclude that 17p deletion and 8q24 gain have a synergistic impact on outcome, and so patients with this "double-hit" CLL have a particularly poor prognosis. Systematic, targeting screening for 8q24 gain should therefore be considered in cases of 17p- CLL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.24990DOI Listing
March 2018

Anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma with the variant RNF213-, ATIC- and TPM3-ALK fusions is characterized by copy number gain of the rearranged ALK gene.

Haematologica 2017 09 28;102(9):1605-1616. Epub 2017 Jun 28.

Center for Human Genetics, KU Leuven, Belgium

Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma is characterized by 2p23/ aberrations, including the classic t(2;5)(p23;q35)/ rearrangement present in ~80% of cases and several variant t(2p23/ALK) occurring in the remaining cases. The fusion partners play a key role in the constitutive activation of the chimeric protein and its subcellular localization. Using various molecular technologies, we have characterized ALK fusions in eight recently diagnosed anaplastic large cell lymphoma cases with cytoplasmic-only ALK expression. The identified partner genes included (one case), (one case), (four cases) and (two cases). Notably, all cases showed copy number gain of the rearranged gene, which is never observed in -positive lymphomas. We hypothesized that this could be due to lower expression levels and/or lower oncogenic potential of the variant fusions. Indeed, all partner genes, except , showed lower expression in normal and malignant T cells, in comparison with In addition, we investigated the transformation potential of endogenous Npm1-Alk and Atic-Alk fusions generated by clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/Cas9 genome editing in Ba/F3 cells. We found that Npm1-Alk has a stronger transformation potential than Atic-Alk, and we observed a subclonal gain of after a longer culture period, which was not observed for Taken together, our data illustrate that lymphomas driven by the variant ATIC-ALK fusion (and likely by RNF213-ALK and TPM3-ALK), but not the classic NPM1-ALK, require an increased dosage of the hybrid gene to compensate for the relatively low and insufficient expression and signaling properties of the chimeric gene.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2016.146571DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5685221PMC
September 2017

Allogeneic stem cell transplantation in adult patients with acute myeloid leukaemia and 17p abnormalities in first complete remission: a study from the Acute Leukemia Working Party (ALWP) of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT).

J Hematol Oncol 2017 01 18;10(1):20. Epub 2017 Jan 18.

Acute Leukemia Working Party of the EBMT office, Paris, France.

Background: Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) with 17p abnormalities (abn(17p)) carries a very poor prognosis due to high refractoriness to conventional chemotherapy, and allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) appears as the only potential curative option.

Methods: To address outcomes after allo-SCT in patients with abn(17p), we retrospectively analysed de novo or secondary AML undergoing SCT between 2000 and 2013 from the EBMT registry.

Results: One hundred thirty-nine patients with confirmed abn(17p) have been selected. At the time of transplant, one hundred twenty-five were in first remission (CR1). Median age was 54 years old. Abn(17p) was associated with a monosomal karyotype in 83% of patients, complex karyotype in 91%, monosomy 5 or 5q deletion (-5/5q-) in 55%, monosomy 7 (-7) in 39% and both -5/5q and -7 in 27%. Seventy-three patients (59%) had a reduced-intensity conditioning regimen. The 2-year overall survival (OS) and leukaemia-free survival (LFS) were 28 and 24%, respectively. The 2-year non-relapse mortality (NRM) was 15%, and 2-year relapse incidence (RI) was 61%. The cumulative incidence of grade II to IV acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) was 24% and that of chronic GvHD was 21%. In multivariate analysis, the presence of a -5/5q- in addition to abn(17p) was significantly and independently associated with worse OS, LFS and higher RI. Age and donor types did not correlate with outcome. Conditioning intensity was not statistically associated with OS, LFS and NRM when adjusted for patients' age.

Conclusions: In contrast to the dismal prognosis reported for AML patients harbouring abn(17p) undergoing conventional chemotherapy, allogeneic SCT provides responses in about 25% of those patients transplanted in CR1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13045-017-0393-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5241968PMC
January 2017

Targeting DNA repair with aphidicolin sensitizes primary chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells to purine analogs.

Oncotarget 2016 Jun;7(25):38367-38379

de Duve Institute, Université Catholique de Louvain, B-1200 Brussels, Belgium.

Purine analogs are among the most effective chemotherapeutic drugs for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). However, chemoresistance and toxicity limit their clinical use. Here, we report that the DNA polymerase inhibitor aphidicolin, which displayed negligible cytotoxicity as a single agent in primary CLL cells, markedly synergizes with fludarabine and cladribine via enhanced apoptosis. Importantly, synergy was recorded regardless of CLL prognostic markers. At the molecular level, aphidicolin enhanced purine analog-induced phosphorylation of p53 and accumulation of γH2AX, consistent with increase in DNA damage. In addition, aphidicolin delayed γH2AX disappearance that arises after removal of purine analogs, suggesting that aphidicolin causes an increase in DNA damage by impeding DNA damage repair. Similarly, aphidicolin inhibited UV-induced DNA repair known to occur primarily through the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway. Finally, we showed that fludarabine induced nuclear import of XPA, an indispensable factor for NER, and that XPA silencing sensitized cell lines to undergo apoptosis in response to fludarabine. Together, our data indicate that aphidicolin potentiates the cytotoxicity of purine analogs by inhibiting a DNA repair pathway that involves DNA polymerases, most likely NER, and provide a rationale for manipulating it to therapeutic advantage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9525DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5122396PMC
June 2016

Genetic differences between paediatric and adult Burkitt lymphomas.

Br J Haematol 2016 Apr 16;173(1):137-44. Epub 2016 Feb 16.

Department of Haematology, Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc - Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.

Dysregulation of MYC is the genetic hallmark of Burkitt lymphoma (BL) but it is encountered in other aggressive mature B-cell lymphomas. MYC dysregulation needs other cooperating events for BL development. We aimed to characterize these events and assess the differences between adult and paediatric BLs that may explain the different outcomes in these two populations. We analysed patterns of genetic aberrations in a series of 24 BLs: 11 adults and 13 children. We looked for genomic imbalances (copy number variations), copy-neutral loss of heterozygosity (CN-LOH) and mutations in TP53, CDKN2A, ID3 (exon 1), TCF3 (exon17) and CCND3 (exon 6). Young patients displayed more frequent 13q31.3q32.1 amplification, 7q32q36 gain and 5q23.3 CN-LOH, while 17p13 and 18q21.3 CN-LOH were only detected in adult BLs. ID3 mutations were present in all adult samples, but only in 42% of childhood cases. CCND3 and ID3 double-hit mutations, as well as 18q21 CN-LOH, seemed to be associated with poorer outcome. For the first time, we report different genetic anomalies between adult and paediatric BLs, suggesting age-related heterogeneity in Burkitt lymphomagenesis. This may explain the poorer prognosis of adult BLs. Additional studies are needed to confirm these results in the setting of clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.13925DOI Listing
April 2016

Genomic alterations of the JAK2 and PDL loci occur in a broad spectrum of lymphoid malignancies.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2016 May 6;55(5):428-41. Epub 2016 Feb 6.

Center for Human Genetics, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

The recurrent 9p24.1 aberrations in lymphoid malignancies potentially involving four cancer-related and druggable genes (JAK2, CD274/PDL1, PDCD1LG2/PDL2, and KDM4C/JMJD2Cl) are incompletely characterized. To gain more insight into the anatomy of these abnormalities, at first we studied 9p24.1 alterations in 18 leukemia/lymphoma cases using cytogenetic and molecular techniques. The aberrations comprised structural (nine cases) and numerical (nine cases) alterations. The former lesions were heterogeneous but shared a common breakpoint region of 200 kb downstream of JAK2. The rearrangements predominantly targeted the PDL locus. We have identified five potential partner genes of PDL1/2: PHACTR4 (1p34), N4BP2 (4p14), EEF1A1 (6q13), JAK2 (9p24.1), and IGL (22q11). Interestingly, the cryptic JAK2-PDL1 rearrangement was generated by a microdeletion spanning the 3'JAK2-5'PDL1 region. JAK2 was additionally involved in a cytogenetically cryptic IGH-mediated t(9;14)(p24.1;q32) found in two patients. This rare but likely underestimated rearrangement highlights the essential role of JAK2 in B-cell neoplasms. Cases with amplification of 9p24.1 were diagnosed as primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (five cases) and T-cell lymphoma (four cases). The smallest amplified 9p24.1 region was restricted to the JAK2-PDL1/2-RANBP6 interval. In the next step, we screened 200 cases of classical Hodgkin lymphoma by interphase FISH and identified PDL1/2 rearrangement (CIITA- and IGH-negative) in four cases (2%), what is a novel finding. Forty (25%) cases revealed high level amplification of 9p24.1, including four cases with a selective amplification of PDL1/2. Altogether, the majority of 9p24.1 rearrangements occurring in lymphoid malignancies seem to target the programmed death-1 ligands, what potentiates the therapeutic activity of PD-1 blockade in these tumors. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gcc.22345DOI Listing
May 2016

Outcome of conditioning intensity in acute myeloid leukemia with monosomal karyotype in patients over 45 year-old: A study from the acute leukemia working party (ALWP) of the European group of blood and marrow transplantation (EBMT).

Am J Hematol 2015 Aug;90(8):719-24

Section of Hematology, Hôpital Saint-Antoine, Paris, France.

Acute myeloid leukemia with monosomal karyotype (MK AML) carries a very poor prognosis, even after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT). However, SCT remains the only curative option in this high-risk population. Because myeloablative conditioning regimen (MAC) is associated with less relapse, we hypothesized that more intensive conditioning regimen might be beneficial for MK AML patients. We reviewed 303 patients over age 45 diagnosed with either de novo or secondary MK AML. One hundred and five patients received a MAC and 198 a reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC). The median age at SCT was 57-year-old, significantly lower in the MAC (53-year-old) than in the RIC group (59-year-old). The median follow-up was 42 months (range, 3 - 156 months). The 3-year overall survival (OS), leukemia-free survival (LFS), and relapse rate (RR) were not significantly different between both groups with overall values of 34%, 29%, and 51%, respectively. On the contrary, the 3-year nonrelapse mortality (NRM) was significantly higher in MAC recipients (28%) compared with RIC patients (16%, P = 0.004). The incidence of Grades II to IV acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) was significantly higher after a MAC (30.5%) than after a RIC (19.3%, P = 0.02). That of chronic GvHD was comparable between both groups (35%) and did not impact on LFS. Interestingly, within our MK AML cohort, hypodiploidy was significantly associated with worse outcomes. Due to reduced toxicity and comparable OS, LFS, and RR, RIC appears as a good transplant option in the very high-risk population, including older patients, diagnosed with MK AML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.24069DOI Listing
August 2015

Analysis of phenotype and outcome in essential thrombocythemia with CALR or JAK2 mutations.

Haematologica 2015 Jul 1;100(7):893-7. Epub 2015 May 1.

Center for Human Genetics, KU Leuven and University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium Department of Hematology, University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium

The JAK2 V617F mutation, the thrombopoietin receptor MPL W515K/L mutation and calreticulin (CALR) mutations are mutually exclusive in essential thrombocythemia and support a novel molecular categorization of essential thrombocythemia. CALR mutations account for approximately 30% of cases of essential thrombocythemia. In a retrospective study, we examined the frequency of MPL and CALR mutations in JAK2 V617F-negative cases of essential thrombocythemia (n=103). In addition, we compared the clinical phenotype and outcome of CALR mutant cases of essential thrombocythemia with a cohort of JAK2 V617F-positive essential thrombocythemia (n=57). CALR-positive cases represented 63.7% of double-negative cases of essential thrombocythemia, and most carried CALR type 1 or type 2 indels. However, we also identified one patient who was positive for both the JAK2 V617F and the CALR mutations. This study revealed that CALR mutant essential thrombocythemia is associated with younger age, higher platelet counts, lower erythrocyte counts, leukocyte counts, hemoglobin, and hematocrit, and increased risk of progression to myelofibrosis in comparison with JAK2 V617F-positive essential thrombocythemia. Analysis of the CALR mutant group according to indel type showed that CALR type 1 deletion is strongly associated with male gender. CALR mutant patients had a better overall survival than JAK2 V617F-positive patients, in particular patients of age 60 years or younger. In conclusion, this study in a Belgian cohort of patients supports and extends the growing body of evidence that CALR mutant cases of essential thrombocythemia are phenotypically distinct from JAK2 V617F-positive cases, with regards to clinical and hematologic presentation as well as overall survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2014.118299DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4486223PMC
July 2015

Management of pregnancy in paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria on long-term eculizumab.

Blood Coagul Fibrinolysis 2015 Jun;26(4):464-6

aDepartment of Hematology bDepartment of Clinical Biology cDepartment of Obstetrics, Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc, Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.

Pregnancy in women with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) is associated with increased maternal and fetal complications, to such an extent that PNH has for long been considered a relative contraindication for pregnancy. The most serious life-threatening complications are venous thromboembolic events, the risk of which is increased by the hypercoagulable state related to pregnancy. Eculizumab, a C5 complement inhibitor, has revolutionized the treatment of PNH. However, there are no published trials evaluating its use in pregnancy. Most recommendations are based on expert opinions and case reports. We report on the favorable outcome of a PNH patient who became pregnant while under eculizumab, suggesting that this drug can be given from conception to delivery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MBC.0000000000000248DOI Listing
June 2015
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