Deletion of the Ink4-locus (the p16ink4a, p14ARF and p15ink4b genes) predicts relapse in children with ALL treated according to the Nordic protocols NOPHO-86 and NOPHO-92

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Inactivation of the Ink4 gene locus locus on 9p comprising the tumour suppressor gene p16ink4a and its neighbours p14ARF and p15ink4b is common in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), but the prognostic significance is controversial. DNA from 230 patients was retrospectively analysed by Southern blotting, single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) and sequencing techniques. The results were correlated with clinical characteristics and outcome. One hundred and ninety-four fully analysed patients, similarly treated using the Nordic NOPHO-86 or the current NOPHO-92 protocols, were included in the outcome analysis. Deletions approached a minimally deleted region between the p16ink4a and p15ink4b genes, making the p14ARF gene the most commonly deleted coding sequence. Bi-allelic deletion was associated with high white blood cell count (WBC) (P < 0.001), T cell phenotype (P < 0.001) and mediastinal mass (P < 0.001). Patients with Ink4 locus bi-allelic deletions had an inferior pEFS (P < 0.01) and multivariate analysis indicated that bi-allelic deletion of the p16ink4a and the p14ARF genes was an independent prognostic risk factor (P < 0.05). Sub-group analysis revealed a pronounced impact of deletion status for high-risk patients, ie with high WBC. Deletion-status and clinical risk criteria (WBC) could thus be combined to further differentiate risk within the high-risk group. The analysis of the Ink4 locus adds independent prognostic information in childhood ALL treated by Nordic protocols and may help in selection of patients for alternative treatment.


  • TMC Moreno
  • G Gustafsson
  • Stanislaw Garwicz
  • D Grander
  • GK Jonmundsson
  • BM Frost
  • A Makipernaa
  • O Rasool
  • ER Savolainen
  • K Schmiegelow
  • S Soderhall
  • K Vettenranta
  • F Wesenberg
  • S Einhorn
  • M Heyman
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cancer and Oncology


  • children, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), prognosis, ARF, INK4 deletio, p16
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2037-2045
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch