Katrina Rack, Jolien De Bie, Geneviève Ameye, Olga Gielen, Sofie Demeyer, Jan Cools, Kim De Keersmaecker, Joris R. Vermeesch, Johan Maertens, Heidi Segers, Lucienne Michaux, Barbara Dewaele.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a malignancy that can be subdivided into distinct entities based on clinical, immunophenotypic and genomic features, including mutations, structural variants (SVs), and copy number alterations (CNA). Chromosome banding analysis (CBA) and Fluorescent In-Situ Hybridization (FISH) together with Multiple Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA), array and PCR-based methods form the backbone of routine diagnostics. This approach is labor-intensive, time-consuming and costly. New molecular technologies now exist that can detect SVs and CNAs in one test. Here we apply one such technology, optical genome mapping (OGM), to the diagnostic work-up of 41 ALL cases. Compared to our standard testing pathway, OGM identified all recurrent CNAs and SVs as well as additional recurrent SVs and the resulting fusion genes. Based on the genomic profile obtained by OGM, 32 patients could be assigned to one of the major cytogenetic risk groups compared to 23 with the standard approach. The latter identified 24/34 recurrent chromosomal abnormalities, while OGM identified 33/34, misinterpreting only 1 case with low hypodiploidy. The results of MLPA were concordant in 100% of cases. Overall, there was excellent concordance between the results. OGM increased the detection rate and cytogenetic resolution, and abrogated the need for cascade testing, resulting in reduced turnaround times. OGM also provided opportunities for better patient stratification and accurate treatment options. However, for comprehensive cytogenomic testing, OGM still needs to be complemented with CBA or SNP-array to detect ploidy changes and with BCR::ABL1 FISH to assign patients as soon as possible to targeted therapy.