Almost 30% CLL patients can carry quasisimilar if not identical B-cell receptor immunoglobulin (BcR IG), a phenomenon aptly coined as BcR stereotypy. Patients expressing stereotyped BcR IG can be assigned to one of many different subsets, each defined by a particular, distinct BcR IG molecular configuration. Within a particular subset, BcR IG similarities are also reflected in shared biological profiles as well as similar clinical presentation and outcome.
BcR IG stereotypy can refine the well-established Döhner cytogenetic prognostic model, at least for the largest stereotyped subsets i.e. subsets 1, 2, and 4, which constitute separate clinical entities, ranging from remarkably indolent in subset 4 to aggressive disease in subsets 1 and 2 (Baliakas et al. Lancet Haematol 2014; Baliakas et al. Blood 2015).
Realizing this, ERIC members under the supervision of Nikos Darzentas build the bioinformatics application ARResT/AssignSubsets in order to robustly assign user-submitted sequences as new members to existing subsets of stereotyped antigen receptor sequences. This is currently applicable to the 19 major subsets of stereotyped B-cell receptors in CLL (Agathangelidis et al. Blood 2012).
ARResT/AssignSubsets is freely available on the web at http://bat.infspire.org/arrest/assignsubsets/, with the publication by Bystry et al, also on behalf of ERIC, permanently linked through http://doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btv456.
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