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Measurable Residual Disease Assessed by Flow-Cytometry Is a Stable Prognostic Factor for Pediatric T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Consecutive SEHOP Protocols Whereas the Impact of Oncogenetics Depends on Treatment.

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Abstract
Robust and applicable risk-stratifying genetic factors at diagnosis in pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) are still lacking, and most protocols rely on measurable residual disease (MRD) assessment. In our study, we aimed to analyze the impact of NOTCH1, FBXW7, PTEN, and RAS mutations, the measurable residual disease (MRD) levels assessed by flow cytometry (FCM-MRD) and other reported risk factors in a Spanish cohort of pediatric T-ALL patients. We included 199 patients treated with SEHOP and PETHEMA consecutive protocols from 1998 to 2019. We observed a better outcome of patients included in the newest SEHOP-PETHEMA-2013 protocol compared to the previous SHOP-2005 cohort. FCM-MRD significantly predicted outcome in both protocols, but the impact at early and late time points differed between protocols. The impact of FCM-MRD at late time points was more evident in SEHOP-PETHEMA 2013, whereas in SHOP-2005 FCM-MRD was predictive of outcome at early time points. Genetics impact was different in SHOP-2005 and SEHOP-PETHEMA-2013 cohorts: NOTCH1 mutations impacted on overall survival only in the SEHOP-PETHEMA-2013 cohort, whereas homozygous deletions of CDKN2A/B had a significantly higher CIR in SHOP-2005 patients. We applied the clinical classification combining oncogenetics, WBC count and MRD levels at the end of induction as previously reported by the FRALLE group. Using this score, we identified different subgroups of patients with statistically different outcome in both Spanish cohorts. In SHOP-2005, the FRALLE classifier identified a subgroup of high-risk patients with poorer survival. In the newest protocol SEHOP-PETHEMA-2013, a very low-risk group of patients with excellent outcome and no relapses was detected, with borderline significance. Overall, FCM-MRD, WBC count and oncogenetics may refine the risk-stratification, helping to design tailored approaches for pediatric T-ALL patients.
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NOTCH1, T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, flow cytometry, measurable (minimal) residual disease, oncogenetics, pediatrics, risk-factors
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