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Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common childhood cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related death in children and adolescents. Minimal residual disease (MRD) is a strong, independent prognostic factor. The objective of this study was to identify molecular signatures distinguishing patients with positive MRD from those with negative MRD in different subtypes of ALL, and to identify molecular networks and biological pathways deregulated in response to positive MRD at day 46. We compared gene expression levels between patients with positive MRD and negative MRD in each subtype to identify differentially expressed genes. Hierarchical clustering was applied to determine their functional relationships. We identified subtype-specific gene signatures distinguishing patients with positive MRD from those with negative MRD. We identified the genes involved in cell cycle, apoptosis, transport, and DNA repair. We also identified molecular networks and biological pathways dysregulated in response to positive MRD, including Granzyme B, B-cell receptor, and PI3K signaling pathways.
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