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Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 2007 Jan 15;172(2):120-6.

Bulky lymphadenopathy with poor clinical outcome is associated with ATM downregulation in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients irrespective of 11q23 deletion.

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Department of Genetics, Center for Research in Leukemia and Lymphoma, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-6395, USA.


B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) is the most common B-cell leukemia among older populations in Western countries. The clinical course of B-CLL is heterogeneous: in some patients the disease course is indolent, in others it is aggressive. The B-CLL subgroups with chromosome 11q23 deletion have been associated with aggressive disease course involving ATM deletion, extensive bulky lymphadenopathy (BLA), and inferior clinical outcome. Using real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, we found that ATM was consistently underexpressed in B-CLL patients with BLA, irrespective of 11q23 deletion status. In addition, B-CLL patients who presented with BLA had a significantly shorter time to treatment (2 months) than did patients without BLA (74 months). Moreover, gene expression analysis in B-CLL patients with and without BLA revealed differences in expression for genes involved in apoptosis, cell cycle, and cell adhesion. These results indicate an association between BLA and reduced expression of ATM, suggesting a role for ATM in disease progression in B-CLL.

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