Cytogenetic analysis and clinical significance in adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma: a study of 50 cases from the human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 endemic area, Nagasaki

Blood. 2001 Jun 1;97(11):3612-20. doi: 10.1182/blood.v97.11.3612.


Identification of cytogenetic abnormalities is an important clue for the elucidation of carcinogenesis. However, the cytogenetic and clinical significance of adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) is still unclear. To address this point, cytogenetic findings in 50 cases of ATLL were correlated with clinical characteristics. Karyotypes showed a high degree of diversity and complexity. Aneuploidy and multiple breaks (at least 6) were observed frequently in acute and lymphoma subtypes of ATLL. Breakpoints tended to cluster at specific chromosomal regions, although characteristic cytogenetic subgroups of abnormalities were not found. Of these, aberrations of chromosomes 1p, 1q, 1q10-21, 10p, 10p13, 12q, 14q, and 14q32 correlated with one or more of the following clinical features: hepatosplenomegaly, elevated lactate dehydrogenase, hypercalcemia, and unusual immunophenotype, all indicators of clinical severity of ATLL. Multiple breaks (at least 6); abnormalities of chromosomes 1p, 1p22, 1q, 1q10-21, 2q, 3q, 3q10-12, 3q21, 14q, 14q32, and 17q; and partial loss of chromosomes 2q, 9p, 14p, 14q, and 17q regions correlated with shorter survival. These cytogenetic findings are relevant in predicting clinical outcome and provide useful information to identify chromosomal regions responsible for leukemogenesis. This study also indicates that one model of an oncogenic mechanism, activation of a proto-oncogene by translocation of a T-cell-receptor gene, may not be applicable to the main pathway of development of ATLL and that a multistep process of leukemogenesis is required for the development of ATLL. (Blood. 2001;97:3612-3620)

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aneuploidy
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Chromosome Breakage
  • Cytogenetic Analysis*
  • Endemic Diseases*
  • Female
  • HTLV-I Antibodies / blood
  • Hepatomegaly
  • Humans
  • Hypercalcemia
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Karyotyping
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / blood
  • Leukemia-Lymphoma, Adult T-Cell / epidemiology
  • Leukemia-Lymphoma, Adult T-Cell / genetics*
  • Leukemia-Lymphoma, Adult T-Cell / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Proto-Oncogene Mas
  • Splenomegaly
  • Survival Rate


  • HTLV-I Antibodies
  • MAS1 protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Mas
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase