Development of locus specific sub-clone separation by fluorescence in situ hybridization in suspension in chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Cuc Do, Sheree Bailey, Cindy Macardle, Lauren Thurgood, Karen Lower, Bryone Kuss

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    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Intra-tumor genetic heterogeneity is a hallmark of cancer. The ability to monitor and analyze these sub-clonal cell populations can be considered key to successful treatment, particularly in the modern era of targeted therapies. Although advances in sequencing technologies have significantly improved our ability to analyze the mutational landscape of tumors, this utility is reduced when considering small, but clinically significant sub-clones, that is, those representing <10% of the tumor burden. We have developed a high-throughput method that utilizes a 17-probe labeled bacterial artificial chromosome contig to quantify sub-clonal populations of cells based on deletion of a single locus. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells harboring deletion of the short arm of chromosome 17 (del17p), an important prognostic marker for CLL were used to demonstrate the technique. Sub-clones of del17p cells were quantified and isolated from heterogeneous CLL populations using fluorescence in situ hybridization in suspension (FISH-IS) and the locus specific probe set. Using the combination of FISH-IS with the locus-specific probe set enables automated analysis of tens of thousands of cells, accurately quantifying and isolating cells carrying a del17p. Based on the fluorescence intensity of 17p probes, 17p (TP53) deleted cells were identified and sorted using flow cytometric techniques, and enrichment was demonstrated using single nucleotide polymorphism analysis. The ability to separate sub-clones of cells based on genetic heterogeneity, independent of the clone size, highlights the potential application of this method not only in the diagnostic and prognostic setting, but also as an unbiased approach to enable further detailed genetic analysis of the sub-clone with deep sequencing approaches.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1088-1095
    Number of pages8
    JournalCytometry Part A
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


    • 17p locus specific probes
    • CLL
    • FISH-IS
    • Image Stream X
    • low frequency
    • sub-clone separation


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