Molecular pathway activation features of pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and acute lymphoblast leukemia (ALL) cells
Acute lymphoblast leukemia (ALL) is characterized by overproduction of immature white blood cells in the bone marrow. ALL is most common in the childhood and has high ( 80%) cure rate. In contrast, acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has far greater mortality rate than the ALL and is most commonly affecting older adults. However, AML is a leading cause of childhood cancer mortality. In this study, we compare gene expression and molecular pathway activation patterns in three normal blood, seven pediatric ALL and seven pediatric AML bone marrow samples. We identified 172/94 and 148/31 characteristic gene expression/pathway activation signatures, clearly distinguishing pediatric ALL and AML cells, respectively, from the normal blood. The pediatric AML and ALL cells differed by 139/34 gene expression/pathway activation biomarkers. For the adult 30 AML and 17 normal blood samples, we found 132/33 gene expression/pathway AML-specific features, of which only 7/2 were common for the adult and pediatric AML and, therefore, age-independent. At the pathway level, we found more differences than similarities between the adult and pediatric forms. These findings suggest that the adult and pediatric AMLs may require different treatment strategies.