Despite the high probability of cure of patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), mechanisms of relapse are still largely unclear. Mutational profiling at diagnosis and/or relapse may help to identify APL patients needing frequent molecular monitoring and early treatment intervention. Using an NGS approach including a 31 myeloid gene-panel, we tested BM samples of 44 APLs at the time of diagnosis, and of 31 at relapse. Mutations in PML and RARA genes were studied using a customized-NGS-RNA panel. Patients relapsing after ATRA-chemotherapy rarely had additional mutations (P =.009). In patients relapsing after ATRA/ATO, the PML gene was a preferential mutation target. We then evaluated the predictive value of mutations at APL diagnosis. A median of two mutations was detectable in 9/11 patients who later relapsed, vs one mutation in 21/33 patients who remained in CCR (P =.0032). This corresponded to a significantly lower risk of relapse in patients with one or less mutations (HR 0.046; 95% CI 0.011-0.197; P <.0001). NGS-analysis at the time of APL diagnosis may inform treatment decisions, including alternative treatments for cases with an unfavorable mutation profile.
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