Deletion at 13q14 is detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in about 50% of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Although CLL with 13q deletion as the sole cytogenetic abnormality (del13q-only) usually have good prognosis, more aggressive clinical courses are documented for del13q-only CLL carrying higher percentages of 13q deleted nuclei. Moreover, deletion at 13q of different sizes have been described, whose prognostic significance is still unknown. In a multi-institutional cohort of 342 del13q-only cases and in a consecutive unselected cohort of 265 CLL, we investigated the prognostic significance of 13q deletion, using the 13q FISH probes locus-specific identifier (LSI)-D13S319 and LSI-RB1 that detect the DLEU2/MIR15A/MIR16-1 and RB1 loci, respectively. Results indicated that both percentage of deleted nuclei and presence of larger deletions involving the RB1 locus cooperated to refine the prognosis of del13q-only cases. In particular, CLL carrying <70% of 13q deleted nuclei with deletions not comprising the RB1 locus were characterized by particularly long time-to-treatment. Conversely, CLL with 13q deletion in <70% of nuclei but involving the RB1 locus, or CLL carrying 13q deletion in ≥70% of nuclei, with or without RB1 deletions, collectively experienced shorter time-to-treatment. A revised flowchart for the prognostic FISH assessment of del13q-only CLL, implying the usage of both 13q probes, is proposed.
Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.