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Blood. 2008 May 1;111(9):4490-5. doi: 10.1182/blood-2007-09-115055. Epub 2008 Feb 28.

An FLT3 gene-expression signature predicts clinical outcome in normal karyotype AML.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine III, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.

Abstract

Acute myeloid leukemia with normal karyotype (NK-AML) represents a cytogenetic grouping with intermediate prognosis but substantial molecular and clinical heterogeneity. Within this subgroup, presence of FLT3 (FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3) internal tandem duplication (ITD) mutation predicts less favorable outcome. The goal of our study was to discover gene-expression patterns correlated with FLT3-ITD mutation and to evaluate the utility of a FLT3 signature for prognostication. DNA microarrays were used to profile gene expression in a training set of 65 NK-AML cases, and supervised analysis, using the Prediction Analysis of Microarrays method, was applied to build a gene expression-based predictor of FLT3-ITD mutation status. The optimal predictor, composed of 20 genes, was then evaluated by classifying expression profiles from an independent test set of 72 NK-AML cases. The predictor exhibited modest performance (73% sensitivity; 85% specificity) in classifying FLT3-ITD status. Remarkably, however, the signature outperformed FLT3-ITD mutation status in predicting clinical outcome. The signature may better define clinically relevant FLT3 signaling and/or alternative changes that phenocopy FLT3-ITD, whereas the signature genes provide a starting point to dissect these pathways. Our findings support the potential clinical utility of a gene expression-based measure of FLT3 pathway activation in AML.

PMID:
18309032
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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