DNMT3A mutations in Chinese childhood acute myeloid leukemia

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Background:DNA methyltransferase 3A (DNMT3A) mutations have been found in approximately 20% of adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients and in 0% to 1.4% of children with AML, and the hotspots of mutations are mainly located in the catalytic methyltransferase domain, hereinto, mutation R882 accounts for 60%. Although the negative effect of DNMT3AR882 on treatment outcome is well known, the prognostic significance of other DNMT3A mutations in AML is still unclear. Here, we tried to determine the incidence and prognostic significance of DNMT3A mutations in a large cohort in Chinese childhood AML.Methods:We detected the mutations in DNMT3A exon 23 by polymerase chain reaction and direct sequencing in 342 children with AML (0–16 years old) from January 2005 to June 2013, treated on BCH-2003 AML protocol. The correlation of DNMT3A mutations with clinical characteristics, fusion genes, other molecular anomalies (FLT3 internal tandem duplication [FLT3-ITD], Nucleophosmin 1, C-KIT (KIT proto-oncogene receptor tyrosine kinase), and Wilms tumor 1 mutations), and treatment outcome were analyzed.Results:DNMT3A mutations were detected in 4 out of 342 (1.2%) patients. Two patients were PML-RARA positive and 1 patient was FLT3-ITD positive. The mutations in coding sequences included S892S, V912A, R885G, and Q886R. Furthermore, there was 1 intronic mutation (c.2739+55A>C) found in 1 patient. No association of DNMT3A mutations with common clinical features was found. Two patients with DNMT3A mutations died of relapse or complications during treatment. One patient gave up treatment due to remission induction failure in day 33. Only 1 patient achieved continuous complete remission.Conclusions:DNMT3A mutations were rare in Chinese children with AML including PML-RARA positive APL. The mutation positions were different from the hotspots reported in adult AML. DNMT3A mutations may have adverse impact on prognosis of children with AML.

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