Prognostic Relevance of Integrated Genetic Profiling in Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma

Blood. 2018 Jan 11;131(2):215-225. doi: 10.1182/blood-2017-01-761874. Epub 2017 Oct 30.


Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) is a heterogeneous group of peripheral T-cell malignancies characterized by human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 infection, whose genetic profile has recently been fully investigated. However, it is still poorly understood how these alterations affect clinical features and prognosis. We investigated the effects of genetic alterations commonly found in ATL on disease phenotypes and clinical outcomes, based on genotyping data obtained from 414 and 463 ATL patients using targeted-capture sequencing and single nucleotide polymorphism array karyotyping, respectively. Aggressive (acute/lymphoma) subtypes were associated with an increased burden of genetic and epigenetic alterations, higher frequencies of TP53 and IRF4 mutations, and many copy number alterations (CNAs), including PD-L1 amplifications and CDKN2A deletions, compared with indolent (chronic/smoldering) subtypes. By contrast, STAT3 mutations were more characteristic of indolent ATL. Higher numbers of somatic mutations and CNAs significantly correlated with worse survival. In a multivariate analysis incorporating both clinical factors and genetic alterations, the Japan Clinical Oncology Group prognostic index high-risk, older age, PRKCB mutations, and PD-L1 amplifications were independent poor prognostic factors in aggressive ATL. In indolent ATL, IRF4 mutations, PD-L1 amplifications, and CDKN2A deletions were significantly associated with shorter survival, although the chronic subtype with unfavorable clinical factors was only marginally significant. Thus, somatic alterations characterizing aggressive diseases predict worse prognosis in indolent ATL, among which PD-L1 amplifications are a strong genetic predictor in both aggressive and indolent ATL. ATL subtypes are further classified into molecularly distinct subsets with different prognosis. Genetic profiling might contribute to improved prognostication and management of ATL patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abnormal Karyotype
  • Aged
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Female
  • Gene Dosage
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Leukemic*
  • Humans
  • Interferon Regulatory Factors / genetics
  • Leukemia-Lymphoma, Adult T-Cell / diagnosis*
  • Leukemia-Lymphoma, Adult T-Cell / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Molecular
  • Mutation*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Prognosis
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / genetics


  • Interferon Regulatory Factors
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • STAT3 protein, human
  • interferon regulatory factor-4