Advances in molecular genetics and treatment of core-binding factor acute myeloid leukemia

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Purpose of reviewCore-binding factor (CBF) acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is among the most common cytogenetic subtypes of AML, being detected in approximately 13% of adults with primary disease. Although CBF-AML is associated with a relatively favorable prognosis, only one-half of the patients are cured. Herein we review recent discoveries of genetic and epigenetic alterations in CBF-AML that may represent novel prognostic markers and therapeutic targets and lead to improvement of the still disappointing clinical outcome of these patients.Recent findingsSeveral acquired gene mutations and gene-expression and microRNA-expression changes that occur in addition to t(8;21)(q22;q22) and inv(16)(p13q22)/t(16;16)(p13;q22), the cytogenetic hallmarks of CBF-AML, have been recently reported. Alterations that may represent cooperative events in CBF-AML leukemogenesis include mutations in the KIT, FLT3, JAK2 and RAS genes, haploinsufficiency of the putative tumor suppressor genes TLE1 and TLE4 in t(8;21)-positive patients with del(9q), MN1 overexpression in inv(16) patients, and epigenetic and posttranscriptional silencing of CEBPA. Genome-wide gene-expression and microRNA-expression profiling identifying subgroups of CBF-AML patients with distinct molecular signatures, different clinical outcomes, or both, have also been reported.SummaryProgress has been made in delineating the genetic basis of CBF-AML that will likely result in improved prognostication and development of novel, risk-adapted therapeutic approaches.

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