Mutations affecting both the rearranged and the unrearrangedPMLalleles in refractory acute promyelocytic leukaemia

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Acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL) is characterized by the PML/RARA fusion transcript. PML and RARA mutations have been shown to directly respond to arsenic trioxide (ATO) and all-trans retinoic (ATRA). We analysed the prevalence of PML mutations in 32 patients with de novo or therapy-related APL (t-APL; n = 5), treated with ATO. We identified one ATO-resistant t-APL patient, who presented a PML A216T mutation in both the rearranged and unrearranged PML alleles, and two mutations in the rearranged RARA gene. In this patient, subclones with different PML and RARA mutations acquired clonal dominance during the disease course, probably leading to treatment resistance.

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