What causes genetic relapse

Validation of the impact of genetic aberrations and genetic variation in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in childhood (TRANSCALL)

In this project, specific biological characteristics (biomarkers) in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) are researched. Such biomarkers are, for example, certain altered gene segments in the genome. Previous analyzes have shown that T-ALL patients with activating mutations in the NOTCH receptor gene and inactivating mutations in the FBXW7 gene already have a particularly good chance of recovery if they are treated with comparatively less intensive chemotherapy. In contrast, T-ALL patients with mutations in the PTEN gene respond very poorly to therapy. In such patients, more intensive or targeted therapy could be used from the start to minimize the risk of relapse. The overall goal of the project is therefore the validation of these biomarkers and the identification of further biomarkers, with the help of which the individual risk of relapse can be determined at the beginning of treatment. The project is part of the transnational research network TRANSCALL, in which working groups from five European partner countries work together. A high number of samples from patients with T-ALL is necessary for a high degree of reliability of the study results. The high number of samples is guaranteed by the fact that each project partner in the international consortium examines a certain contingent of nationally available samples.