Identification of prognostic relevant chromosomal abnormalities in chronic lymphocytic leukemia using microarray-based genomic profiling

Marian J. P. L. Stevens-Kroef*, Eva van den Berg-de Ruiter, Daniel Olde Weghuis, Ad Geurts van Kessel, Rolph Pfundt, Matty Linssen-Wiersma, Marloes Benjamins, Trijnie Dijkhuizen, Patricia J. T. A. Groenen, Annet Simons

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Background: Characteristic genomic abnormalities in patients with B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) have been shown to provide important prognostic information. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA), currently used in clinical diagnostics of CLL, are targeted tests aimed at specific genomic loci. Microarray-based genomic profiling is a new high-resolution tool that enables genome-wide analyses. The aim of this study was to compare two recently launched genomic microarray platforms, i.e., the CytoScan HD Array (Affymetrix) and the HumanOmniExpress Array (Illumina), with FISH and MLPA to ascertain whether these latter tests can be replaced by either one of the microarray platforms in a clinical diagnostic setting.

    Result: Microarray-based genomic profiling and FISH were performed in all 28 CLL patients. For an unbiased comparison of the performance of both microarray platforms 9 patients were evaluated on both platforms, resulting in the identification of exactly identical genomic aberrations. To evaluate the detection limit of the microarray platforms we included 7 patients in which the genomic abnormalities were present in a relatively low percentage of the cells (range 5-28%) as previously determined by FISH. We found that both microarray platforms allowed the detection of copy number abnormalities present in as few as 16% of the cells. In addition, we found that microarray-based genomic profiling allowed the identification of genomic abnormalities that could not be detected by FISH and/or MLPA, including a focal TP53 loss and copy neutral losses of heterozygosity of chromosome 17p.

    Conclusion: From our results we conclude that although the microarray platforms exhibit a somewhat lower limit of detection compared to FISH, they still allow the detection of copy number abnormalities present in as few as 16% of the cells. By applying similar interpretation criteria, the results obtained from both platforms were comparable. In addition, we conclude that both microarray platforms allow the identification of additional potential prognostic relevant abnormalities such as focal TP53 deletions and copy neutral losses of heterozygosity of chromosome 17p, which would have remained undetected by FISH or MLPA. The prognostic relevance of these novel genomic alterations requires further evaluation in prospective clinical trials.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number3
    Number of pages11
    JournalMolecular Cytogenetics
    Publication statusPublished - 9-Jan-2014


    • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
    • Microarray-based genomic profiling
    • FISH
    • MLPA
    • TOOL
    • CLL

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