Diagnostic Utility of a Multiplex RT-PCR Assay in Detecting Fusion Transcripts From Recurrent Genetic Abnormalities of Acute Leukemia by WHO 2008 Classification

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Fusion transcripts (FT) from chromosomal rearrangements are key culprits in acute leukemia, with genotype-phenotype correlations including prognostic implications. Here, we report our experience of a commercially available platform utilizing multiplex reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), HemaVision, in 309 consecutive patients with acute leukemia. A total of 108 patients (35%) were diagnosed as having acute leukemia with recurrent genetic abnormalities by the World Health Organization 2008 classification. The multiplex RT-PCR platform, detected 12 different FT in 92 (85.2%; 92/108), with a 99% concordance rate with conventional cytogenetics/fluorescence in situ hybridization. Additional information obtained from the multiplex RT-PCR assay included transcript heterogeneity and novel splice variants of FT. In addition, the RT-PCR assay targeting specific FT could be used for monitoring minimal residual disease. HemaVision is a robust diagnostic platform in detecting FT in routine clinical laboratories both at initial diagnosis and for disease monitoring.

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