WT1 overexpression at diagnosis may predict favorable outcome in patients with de novo non-M3 acute myeloid leukemia

Maurizio Miglino, Nicoletta Colombo, Gianmatteo Pica, Raffaella Grasso, Marino Clavio, Micaela Bergamaschi, Filippo Ballerini, Anna Ghiso, Chiara Ghiggi, Laura Mitscheunig, Germana Beltrami, Antonia Cagnetta, Luana Vignolo, Maria Vita Lucchetti, Sara Aquino, Ivana Pierri, Mario Sessarego, Angelo Michele Carella, Marco Gobbi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We reviewed the frequency and prognostic significance of FLT3 (fms-like tyrosine kinase receptor-3) and NPM (nucleophosmin) gene mutations and WT1 (Wilms' tumor) and BAALC (brain and acute leukemia, cytoplasmic) gene expression in 100 consecutive patients with intermediate and poor cytogenetic risk de novo acute myeloid leukemia (AML) receiving conventional anthracyclineAraC based therapy. We observed a strict relationship between unfavorable karyotype and BAALC >1000 (p=0.0001). Multivariate analysis of 81 patients with intermediate karyotype revealed that younger age (p=0.00009), NPM gene mutation (p=0.002), and WT1 >75th percentile (>2365) (p=0.003) were independent, positive factors for complete remission (CR). WT1 expression above 2365 was correlated also to longer event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) in the same subset of patients (p=0.003 and p=0.02, respectively); the same finding occurred in younger patients with AML with intermediate karyotype (p=0.008 and p=0.01, respectively). In patients with intermediate karyotype, FLT3 internal tandem duplication (ITD) negatively affected EFS (EFS at 30 months: 30% vs. 6% in FLT3-ITD negative and FLT3 positive patients, respectively; p=0.01) and OS (OS at 30 months: 38% vs. 20%, p=0.03). The positive prognostic value of high WT1 expression does not have a clear explanation; it may be implicated either with WT1 anti-oncogenic function, or with the stimulating effect of WT1 oncogene on the leukemic cellular cycle, possibly associated with an enhanced response to chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1961-1969
Number of pages9
JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


  • De novo AML
  • FLT3
  • NPM
  • WT1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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