Chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a type of cancer that starts in the lymphocytes in the bone marrow. It tends to progress slowly over many years and mainly affects older adults and almost never children. In CLL, the bone marrow produces too many white blood cells which are not fully developed and therefore do not function properly. Typically, there are no early symptoms but over time this causes problems such as increased infection risk, swollen lymph nodes and unusual bleeding or bruising. CLLs account for about 25% of all leukemia cases and 38% in adults older than 19 years.

Figure 1. The volcano plot shows the adjusted p-value compared to the difference in average protein expression (NPX) for all proteins in CLL compared to all other cancers. The lollipop plot shows the top 10 most important proteins resulting from the cancer prediction model with importance scores ranging between 0 to 100.

Pan-cancer protein panel

Six proteins were selected by the model to predict the immune cell related cancer chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The most important protein for prediction of CLL (TCL1A) is a well-known marker for T-cell leukemia (Virgilio L et al. (1998)). This protein enhances the cell proliferation of immune cells and thus most likely is involved in the establishment of cancer growth and it has in two earlier independent studies been shown to be upregulated in CLL (Magis AT et al. (2020), Saberi Hosnijeh F et al. (2020)). Similarly, several of the other proteins shown here to be higher in patients with CLL (TCL1A, NPM1, CD6, CD23 and LY9) have also been identified as upregulated in CLL (Magis AT et al. (2020)).

Cancer Protein Importance p.adjusted NPX fold change
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia TCL1A 100.0 2.3e-37 5.4
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia STC1 69.4 2.2e-29 2.0
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia CD22 69.0 1.2e-17 2.4
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia FCRL2 69.0 1.6e-20 3.5
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia FCER2 66.7 1.1e-19 4.8
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia CD6 65.0 8.1e-16 2.5