Abnormalities of the RUNX1 gene in childhood B-acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) are manifested by ETV6-RUNX1 or RUNX1 amplification. A detailed comparison between the two regarding clinicopathologic features with genetic analysis has not been performed previously. This parallel study assessed how different RUNX1 abnormalities affect the clinicopathology of B-ALL.
We compared clinicopathologic factors, including age, sex, WBC count, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) involvement, immunophenotype, and blast proliferation rate between B-ALL with RUNX1 amplification (10 cases) and B-ALL with ETV6-RUNX1 translocation (67 cases) in childhood B-ALL.
CD7 was often expressed in RUNX1 amplification but not in ETV6-RUNX1 (44% vs 0%, P = .0001) and appeared to correlate with CSF involvement in the former group (3/4 [75%]). CD13 was often detected in ETV6-RUNX1 with additional RUNX1 gain (38%) with an even higher frequency in double ETV6-RUNX1 translocation (77%), but was not detected in RUNX1 amplification (0%, P < .05). Children with RUNX1 amplification were older and more often CSF positive, while those with ETV6-RUNX1 were younger, more frequently had hyperleukocytosis, and had higher blast proliferation rates.
RUNX1 copy numbers seem to be proportional to the age of B-ALL onset and the frequency of CSF involvement, while RUNX1 amplification vs translocation causes aberrant expression of CD7 and CD13, respectively.