High number of additional genetic lesions in acute myeloid leukemia with t(8;21)/RUNX1-RUNX1T1: frequency and impact on clinical outcome

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t(8;21)/RUNX1-RUNX1T1-positive acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is prognostically favorable; however, outcome is heterogeneous. We analyzed 139 patients with t(8;21)/RUNX1-RUNX1T1-positive AML (de novo: n= 117; therapy-related: n= 22) to determine frequency and prognostic impact of additional genetic abnormalities. All patients were investigated for mutations (mut) in ASXL1, FLT3, KIT, NPM1, MLL, IDH1, IDH2, KRAS, NRAS, CBL and JAK2. Sixty-nine of 139 cases (49.6%) had 1 mutation in addition to RUNX1- RUNX1T1, and 23/139 (16.5%) had ≥2 additional mutations. Most common were KITmut (23/139; 16.5%), NRASmut (18/139; 12.9%) and ASXL1mut (16/139; 11.5%). FLT3-ITD, FLT3-TKDmut, CBLmut, KRASmut, IDH2mut and JAK2mut were found in 2.9–5.0%. Additional chromosomal abnormalities (ACAs) were found in 97/139 (69.8%). Two-year overall survival (OS) was 73.4% in 111 intensively treated patients. KITD816mut negatively impacted on OS in de novo AML (2-year OS: 59.1% vs 82.0%, P=0.03), ASXL1mut on EFS (de novo AML: 20% vs 59.1%, P=0.011; total cohort: 28.6% vs 56.7%, P=0.021). Sex chromosome loss was favorable (2-year EFS: 66.9% vs 43.0%, P=0.031), whereas + 8 was adverse on EFS (2-year EFS: 26.7% vs 55.9%, P=0.02). In conclusion, t(8;21)/RUNX1-RUNX1T1-positive AML shows a high frequency of additional genetic alterations. Investigation for KITD816 and ASXL1mut combined with investigation of ACAs is recommended in t(8;21)/RUNX1-RUNX1T1-positive AML because of the prognostic significance of these parameters.

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