Jumping translocations, a novel finding in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
The virtually obligatory presence of the Philadelphia chromosome may suggest a causal homogeneity, but chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is a clinically heterogeneous disease. This may be a consequence of the variable BCR breakpoints on chromosome 22 and of nonrandom secondary chromosomal abnormalities. We present the case of a boy, age 12, investigated in blastic phase of CML. Karyotyping with conventional and multiplex fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH and M-FISH) karyotyping, complemented with reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, identified a variant Philadelphia translocation t(9;14;22)(q34;q32;q11) involving a cryptic BCR/ABL fusion with formation of the p190(Bcr-Abl) oncoprotein. M-FISH revealed also an unbalanced jumping translocation of 17q11 approximately qter alternatively present on chromosomes 14 or 20, apparently hithertofore unreported in hematological malignancies. Another secondary aberration, dup(3)(q25q28), was revealed by multipoint interphase FISH (mpI-FISH). Gain of this region is known in adult hematological malignancies and solid tumors, suggesting its general involvement in tumor initiation or progression (or both), regardless of tissue origin.