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Treatment of the central nervous system (CNS) is an essential therapeutic component in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The goal of this study was to identify molecular signatures distinguishing patients with CNS disease from those without the disease in pediatric patients with ALL. We analyzed gene expression data from 207 pediatric patients with ALL. Patients without CNS were classified as CNS1, while those with mild and advanced CNS disease were classified as CNS2 and CNS3, respectively. We compared gene expression levels among the three disease classes. We identified gene signatures distinguishing the three disease classes. Pathway analysis revealed molecular networks and biological pathways dysregulated in response to CNS disease involvement. The identified pathways included the ILK, WNT, B-cell receptor, AMPK, ERK5, and JAK signaling pathways. The results demonstrate that transcription profiling could be used to stratify patients to guide therapeutic decision-making in pediatric ALL.
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