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Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a heterogeneous disease with several underlying genetic ab-normalities. Several studies have tried to elucidate the prognostic significance of cytokine receptor-like factor 2 (CRLF2) overexpression in pediatric B-cell precursor (BCP)-ALL; however, it is still controversial. CRLF2 expression was assessed by flow cytometry in 87 newly diagnosed BCP-ALL pediatric patients, and 80 age and gender-matched control group. Janus Kinase2 (JAK2) (R683) mutation analysis was also performed in those identified to have CRLF2 overexpression with adequate DNA samples by direct sequencing. CRLF2 overexpression was identified in 26/87 (29.9%) of our patients with cutoff set at mean fluorescence intensity (MFI = 3.8) using the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve. There were no significant differences in the clinical and laboratory features between patients with high and low-CRLF2 expression, apart from thrombocytopenia which showed statistically significant association with the low-expression group (p = 0.041). Sequence analysis of samples with high CRLF2 expression (n = 23) revealed that 2/23 (8.7%) cases harbored the mutation JAK2 (R683). CRLF2 levels did not have a significant impact on either overall survival (OS) or disease free survival (DFS) (p = 0.601; p = 0.212, respectively). CRLF2 overexpression was not an adverse parameter in pediatric BCP-ALL patients. However, patients with CRLF2 overexpression may harbor the JAK2 mutation presenting a group that can benefit from targeted therapy by kinase inhibitors. The usage of CRLF2 expression to monitor minimal residual disease of BCP-ALL would be an area of interest for further evaluation.


Eman O Rasekh, Asmaa M Atef, Mohamed Khalil, Emad Ebeid, Youssef Madney, Nayera Hamdy. Characterization of CRLF2 Expression in Pediatric B-Cell Precursor Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Clinical laboratory. 2021 Jan 01;67(1)

PMID: 33491417

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