An increased risk of neurocognitive deficits, anxiety, and depression has been reported in childhood cancer survivors.


We analyzed associations of neurocognitive deficits, as well as anxiety and depression, with common and rare genetic variants derived from whole-exome sequencing data of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) survivors from the PETALE cohort. In addition, significant associations were assessed using stratified and multivariable analyses. Next, top-ranking common associations were analyzed in an independent SJLIFE replication cohort of ALL survivors.


Significant associations were identified in the entire discovery cohort (N = 229) between the AK8 gene and changes in neurocognitive function, whereas PTPRZ1, MUC16, TNRC6C-AS1 were associated with anxiety. Following stratification according to sex, the ZNF382 gene was linked to a neurocognitive deficit in males, whereas APOL2 and C6orf165 were associated with anxiety and EXO5 with depression. Following stratification according to prognostic risk groups, the modulatory effect of rare variants on depression was additionally found in the CYP2W1 and PCMTD1 genes. In the replication SJLIFE cohort (N = 688), the male-specific association in the ZNF382 gene was not significant; however, a P value<0.05 was observed when the entire SJLIFE cohort was analyzed. ZNF382 was significant in males in the combined cohorts as shown by meta-analyses as well as the depression-associated gene EXO5.


Further research is needed to confirm whether the current findings, along with other known risk factors, may be valuable in identifying patients at increased risk of these long-term complications.


Our results suggest that specific genes may be related to increased neuropsychological consequences.

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