The prognostic relevance of additional cytogenetic findings at diagnosis of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is unclear. The impact of additional cytogenetic findings at diagnosis on time to complete cytogenetic (CCR) and major molecular remission (MMR) and progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS) was analyzed using data from 1151 Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph(+)) CML patients randomized to the German CML Study IV. At diagnosis, 1003 of 1151 patients (87%) had standard t(9;22)(q34;q11) only, 69 patients (6.0%) had variant t(v;22), and 79 (6.9%) additional cytogenetic aberrations (ACAs). Of these, 38 patients (3.3%) lacked the Y chromosome (-Y) and 41 patients (3.6%) had ACAs except -Y; 16 of these (1.4%) were major route (second Philadelphia [Ph] chromosome, trisomy 8, isochromosome 17q, or trisomy 19) and 25 minor route (all other) ACAs. After a median observation time of 5.3 years for patients with t(9;22), t(v;22), -Y, minor- and major-route ACAs, the 5-year PFS was 90%, 81%, 88%, 96%, and 50%, and the 5-year OS was 92%, 87%, 91%, 96%, and 53%, respectively. In patients with major-route ACAs, the times to CCR and MMR were longer and PFS and OS were shorter (P < .001) than in patients with standard t(9;22). We conclude that major-route ACAs at diagnosis are associated with a negative impact on survival and signify progression to the accelerated phase and blast crisis.
Treatment options for patients with high-risk acute myeloid leukemia (AML) include high-dose chemotherapy regimens in combination with allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, which takes advantage of the donor T-cell-mediated graft-versus-leukemia effect. Together with beneficial responses observed in assays targeted at leukemia-associated antigens (LAA), this encouraged research on cancer vaccines and adoptive cellular therapies in AML. The receptor for hyaluronic acid-mediated motility (RHAMM, CD168) was identified as one of the most promising LAA in AML. Thus far, little is known about in situ expression in leukemic bone marrow blasts or the prognostic role of RHAMM and its interaction partners in AML. We immunohistochemically analyzed the expression and prognostic significance of RHAMM on trephine bone marrow biopsies from 71 AML cases that had been evaluated for cytogenetics and presence of FLT3-internal tandem duplications and NPM1 mutations. Fifty-five patients (77%) were treated with curative intent, while 16 (23%) received the most appropriate supportive care. Twenty of 71 (28%) AML cases were considered RHAMM+. Receiver operating characteristic curves showed significant discriminatory power considering overall survival (OS) in AML patients treated curatively for RHAMM (p?=?0.015). Multivariable analysis revealed that expression of RHAMM in >5% of leukemic blasts identifies a subgroup of curatively treated cases with adverse OS independent of failures to achieve complete remission. RHAMM not only represents a promising LAA with specific T-cell responses in AML but, if assessed in situ on blasts, also a probable prognostic factor.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with inv(3)(q21q26.2)/t(3;3)(q21;q26.2) [inv(3)/t(3;3)] is recognized as a distinctive entity in the WHO classification. Risk assignment and clinical and genetic characterization of AML with chromosome 3q abnormalities other than inv(3)/t(3;3) remain largely unresolved.
Although aneuploidy has many possible causes, it often results from underlying chromosomal instability (CIN) leading to an unstable karyotype with cell-to-cell variation and multiple subclones. To test for the presence of CIN in high hyperdiploid acute lymphoblastic leukemia (HeH ALL) at diagnosis, we investigated 20 patients (10 HeH ALL and 10 non-HeH ALL), using automated four-color interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization (I-FISH) with centromeric probes for chromosomes 4, 6, 10, and 17. In HeH ALL, the proportion of abnormal cells ranged from 36.3% to 92.4%, and a variety of aneuploid populations were identified. Compared with conventional cytogenetics, I-FISH revealed numerous additional clones, some of them very small. To investigate the nature and origin of this clonal heterogeneity, we determined average numerical CIN values for all four chromosomes together and for each chromosome and patient group. The CIN values in HeH ALL were relatively high (range, 22.2-44.7%), compared with those in non-HeH ALL (3.2-6.4%), thus accounting for the presence of numerical CIN in HeH ALL at diagnosis. We conclude that numerical CIN may be at the origin of the high level of clonal heterogeneity revealed by I-FISH in HeH ALL at presentation, which would corroborate the potential role of CIN in tumor pathogenesis.
Mutations of the Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) can be detected in a significant number of acute myeloid leukemias (AML). Seventy-five cases of acute myeloid leukemia were evaluated for FLT3-internal tandem duplications (ITD) by polymerase chain reaction. Paraffin-embedded formalin-fixed trephine biopsies of these cases were evaluated for expression of phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (pSTAT1), pSTAT3, and pSTAT5. Specific expression of pSTAT5 was proven in leukemic blasts in situ by double staining with a blast-specific marker. Expression of pSTAT5 in > or =1% of blasts was highly predictive of FLT3-ITD. Neither expression of pSTAT1 nor pSTAT3 were associated with FLT3 mutations. Altogether we conclude that pSTAT5 expression can precisely be assessed by immunohistochemistry in routinely processed bone marrow trephines, STAT5 is highly likely the preferred second messenger of FLT3-mediated signaling in AML, and expression of pSTAT5 is predictive of FLT3-ITD.
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