Conversion of childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia (L2) with a double t(12;21) to juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia with a novel t(4;11)(p12;q23): a cytogenetic, morphologic, and immunophenotypic study Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract Here we describe a cytogenetic and flow-cytometric study of a case in which a conversion of childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) into juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) occurred. A 3-year-old boy diagnosed CALLA+, pre–B-ALL with double t(12;21) (by fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis), was treated as per the BFM protocol. A cytogenetic analysis performed at 17 months into treatment showed no t(12;21) in bone marrow (BM) cells; however, a novel translocation, namely, t(4;11), involving the p12 locus on chromosome 4 and the MLL gene at 11q23 was detected in monocytes. No cytogenetic abnormalities were found either in Epstein-Barr virus–transformed B cells or in phytohemagglutinin-stimulated T-lymphoid cells. Flow-cytometric analysis demonstrated an asynchronous expression of the antigenic determinants in populations of granulocytic and monocytoid cells: 60% of monocytes expressed low levels of CD14, an unusually high level of CD15, and no CD13 or HLA-DR antigens; 74% of myeloid cells expressed no CD13. Our results indicate that the transformation from B-cell ALL to JMML in this case occurred most probably in the granulocyte–erythroid–macrophage–megakaryocyte progenitor cells without involving the lymphoid cell line. To date, the child is 10 months off therapy and asymptomatic, with t(4;11) in only 3% of the cells.

publication date

  • December 1, 2003