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Blood. 2010 Sep 30;116(13):2295-303. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-12-258178. Epub 2010 Jun 14.

Cytogenetic and molecular diagnostic characterization combined to postconsolidation minimal residual disease assessment by flow cytometry improves risk stratification in adult acute myeloid leukemia.

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  • 1Hematology, Fondazione Policlinico Tor Vergata, Viale Oxford 81, Rome, Italy.


A total of 143 adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients with available karyotype (K) and FLT3 gene mutational status were assessed for minimal residual disease (MRD) by flow cytometry. Twenty-two (16%) patients had favorable, 115 (80%) intermediate, and 6 (4%) poor risk K; 19 of 129 (15%) carried FLT3-ITD mutation. Considering postconsolidation MRD status, patients with good/intermediate-risk K who were MRD(-) had 4-year relapse-free survival (RFS) of 70% and 63%, and overall survival (OS) of 84% and 67%, respectively. Patients with good- and intermediate-risk K who were MRD(+) had 4-year RFS of 15% and 17%, and OS of 38% and 23%, respectively (P < .001 for all comparisons). FLT3 wild-type patients achieving an MRD(-) status, had a better outcome than those who remained MRD(+) (4-year RFS, 54% vs 17% P < .001; OS, 60% vs 23%, P = .002). Such an approach redefined cytogenetic/genetic categories in 2 groups: (1) low-risk, including good/intermediate K-MRD(-) with 4-year RFS and OS of 58% and 73%, respectively; and (2) high risk, including poor-risk K, FLT3-ITD mutated cases, good/intermediate K-MRD(+) categories, with RFS and OS of 22% and 17%, respectively (P < .001 for all comparisons). In AML, the integrated evaluation of baseline prognosticators and MRD improves risk-assessment and optimizes postremission therapy.

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