p16 Alterations were detected in > 60% of 103 primary T-ALL samples. In paired diagnosis-relapse patient samples, 80% of the relapse samples with p16 deletion were deleted at diagnosis. When p16 was homozygously deleted, p15 gene alterations were found in 72% of the diagnosis T-ALL patient samples, increasing significantly to 100% at relapse. Alterations of p18 were not detected. No clinical significance of p15/p16 gene deletion in diagnosis T-ALL was found with respect to white blood cell (WBC) count, incidence of mediastinal mass, rate of relapse, duration of first remission or event-free survival. In relapse T-ALL, however, patients with p16 deletion experienced a significantly shorter duration of post-relapse survival, demonstrating that p16 deletion is clinically significant in T-ALL.