Recurrent molecular markers have been routinely used in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) for risk assessment at diagnosis, whereas their post-induction monitoring still represents a debated issue. We evaluated the prognostic value and biological impact of minimal residual disease (MRD) and of the allelic ratio (AR) of FLT3-internal-tandem duplication (ITD) in childhood AML. We retrospectively screened 494 children with de novo AML for FLT3-ITD mutation, identifying 54 harboring the mutation; 51% of them presented high ITD-AR at diagnosis and had worse event-free survival (EFS, 19.2 versus 63.5% for low ITD-AR, <0.05). Forty-one percent of children with high levels of MRD after the 1st induction course, measured by a patient-specific real-time-PCR, had worse EFS (22.2 versus 59.4% in low-MRD patients, P<0.05). Next, we correlated these parameters with gene expression, showing that patients with high ITD-AR or persistent MRD had characteristic expression profiles with deregulated genes involved in methylation and acetylation. Moreover, patients with high CyclinA1 expression presented an unfavorable EFS (20.3 versus 51.2% in low CyclinA1 group, P<0.01). Our results suggest that ITD-AR levels and molecular MRD should be considered in planning clinical management of FLT3-ITD patients. Different transcriptional activation of epigenetic and oncogenic profiles may explain variability in outcome among these patients, for whom novel therapeutic approaches are desirable.Leukemia advance online publication, 15 July 2016; doi:10.1038/leu.2016.177.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine