Broadfield, Zoe J., Hain, Richard D., Harrison, Christine J., Reza Jalali, G., McKinley, Mark, Michalova, Kyra, Robinson, Hazel M., Zemanova, Zuzana and Martineau, Mary
Complex chromosomal abnormalities in utero, 5 years before leukaemia.
British Journal of Haematology, 126, (3), . (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2141.2004.05036.x).
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Prenatal acquisition of leukaemia-associated gene rearrangements is a well-established phenomenon. This is the first report of a complex cytogenetic clone, in association with an ETV6/AML1 fusion, developing in utero. Identical twin girls, aged 4 years, developed ETV6/AML1-positive acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) within 3 months of one another. Both demonstrated an identical four way, variant t(12;21). There was gain of an AML1 signal in twin 1 and loss of an ETV6 one in twin 2 at interphase. This unique case study demonstrates that ETV6/AML1 fusion and the associated complex chromosomal rearrangements occurred in utero. Clonal expansion of the abnormal cell in one twin was followed by metastasis to the other. There was a prolonged preleukaemic phase, which lasted well into childhood. The short time between the two diagnoses of ALL suggests a common precipitating event. The significance of the different secondary markers remains unclear.
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