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The Number of Signaling Pathways Altered by Driver Mutations in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Impacts Disease Outcome

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PURPOSE: Investigation of signaling pathways altered by recurrent gene mutations and their clinical impact in a consecutive cohort of patients with newly diagnosed chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The heterogeneous clinical course and genetic complexity of CLL warrant improved molecular prognostication. However, the prognostic value of recurrent mutations at time of diagnosis remains unclear.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We sequenced samples from 314 consecutive, newly diagnosed patients with CLL to investigate the clinical impact of 56 recurrently mutated genes assessed by next-generation sequencing.

RESULTS: Mutations were identified in 70% of patients with enrichment among IGHV unmutated cases. With 6.5 years of follow-up, 15 mutated genes investigated at time of diagnosis demonstrated significant impact on time to first treatment (TTFT). Carrying driver mutations was associated with shorter TTFT and poor overall survival. For outcome from CLL diagnosis, the number of signaling pathways altered by driver mutations stratified patients better than the number of driver mutations. Moreover, we demonstrated gradual impact on TTFT with increasing number of altered pathways independent of CLL-IPI risk. Thus, a 25-gene, pathway-based biomarker assessing recurrent mutations refine prognostication in CLL; in particular for CLL-IPI low and intermediate risk patients. External validation emphasized that a broad gene panel including low burden mutations was key for the biomarker based on altered pathways.

CONCLUSIONS: We propose to include the number of pathways altered by driver mutations as a biomarker together with CLL-IPI in prospective studies of CLL from time of diagnosis for incorporation into clinical care and personalized follow-up and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Volume26
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1507-1515
Number of pages9
ISSN1078-0432
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2020

ID: 59005280