Subtype assignment of CLL based on B-cell subset associated gene signatures from normal bone marrow – A proof of concept study

Caroline Holm Nørgaard, Lasse Hjort Jakobsen, Andrew J. Gentles, Karen Dybkær, Tarec Christoffer El-Galaly, Julie Støve Bødker, Alexander Schmitz, Preben Johansen, Tobias Herold, Karsten Spiekermann, Jennifer R. Brown, Josephine L. Klitgaard, Hans Erik Johnsen, Martin Bøgsted

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Diagnostic and prognostic evaluation of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) involves blood cell counts, immunophenotyping, IgVH mutation status, and cytogenetic analyses. We generated B-cell associated gene-signatures (BAGS) based on six naturally occurring B-cell subsets within normal bone marrow. Our hypothesis is that by segregating CLL according to BAGS, we can identify subtypes with prognostic implications in support of pathogenetic value of BAGS. Microarray-based gene-expression samples from eight independent CLL cohorts (1,024 untreated patients) were BAGS-stratified into pre-BI, pre-BII, immature, naïve, memory, or plasma cell subtypes; the majority falling within the memory (24.5–45.8%) or naïve (14.5–32.3%) categories. For a subset of CLL patients (n = 296), time to treatment (TTT) was shorter amongst early differentiation subtypes (pre-BI/pre-BII/immature) compared to late subtypes (memory/plasma cell, HR: 0.53 [0.35–0.78]). Particularly, pre-BII subtype patients had the shortest TTT among all subtypes. Correlates derived for BAGS subtype and IgVH mutation (n = 405) revealed an elevated mutation frequency in late vs. early subtypes (71% vs. 45%, P <.001). Predictions for BAGS subtype resistance towards rituximab and cyclophosphamide varied for rituximab, whereas all subtypes were sensitive to cyclophosphamide. This study supports our hypothesis that BAGS-subtyping may be of tangible prognostic and pathogenetic value for CLL patients.
TidsskriftPLOS ONE
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)e0193249
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - 1 mar. 2018