(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Hispanic children are more likely than white children to inherit an ARID5B variant that increases their risk not only of developing acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) but of relapse, a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology online January 30.

“Recent genome-wide screens have identified genetic variations in ARID5B associated with susceptibility to childhood ALL,” Jun J. Yang, PhD, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, and colleagues wrote. “We sought to determine the contribution of ARID5B single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to racial disparities in ALL susceptibility and treatment outcome.”

To find ARID5B variants related to ALL, the investigators compared the association between ARID5B SNP genotype and ALL susceptibility in whites (978 cases and 1,046 controls) and Hispanics (330 cases and 541 controls) and also determined the relationship between ARID5B SNP genotype and risk of ALL relapse in 1,605 children treated in two Children’s Oncology Group clinical trials. Whites were defined as having a >95% European genetic ancestry; Hispanics, >10% Native American genetic ancestry (i.e., indigenous to the Americas).

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Ten of the 49 ARID5B SNPs interrogated were significantly associated with ALL susceptibility in both whites and Hispanics (P<.05); 8 were associated with both ALL susceptibility and relapse hazard. “The alleles related to higher ALL incidence were always linked to poorer treatment outcome and were more frequent in Hispanics,” they noted.

Examination of ARID5B variation within different ALL treatment regimens will refine its value as a prognostic marker.