To further define the cytogenetic differences between B-cell lineage (B-lineage) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and T-cell lineage ALL (T-ALL) and to determine the prognostic value of cytogenetics in childhood T-ALL, the blast cell karyotypes of 343 cases of pediatric T-ALL, the largest series reported to date, were evaluated. Cytogenetics were performed in a single central laboratory, and the children were treated using a single Pediatric Oncology Group protocol. Clear differences between the karyotypic characteristics of B-lineage ALL and T-ALL were confirmed. This study suggests that there may be survival differences associated with some T-ALL blast cell karyotypes. Better survival is associated with only normal karyotypes and with t(10;14) (translocation of chromosomes 10 and 14); worse survival is associated with the presence of any derivative chromosome. Two new recurring chromosome aberrations previously not reported in T-ALL were found: del(1)(p22) and t(8;12)(q13;p13). Ten aberrations found in this series, which were reported only once previously in T-ALL, can now be considered recurring abnormalities in T-ALL. All 12 of these new recurring aberrations are targets for discovery and characterization of new genes that are important in T-cell development and leukemogenesis. (C) 2000 by The American Society of Hematology.