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Mod Pathol. 2013 Feb;26(2):195-203. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.2012.142. Epub 2012 Aug 31.

TdT expression in acute myeloid leukemia with minimal differentiation is associated with distinctive clinicopathological features and better overall survival following stem cell transplantation.

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  • 1Department of Hematopathology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Abstract

The diagnostic criteria for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), not otherwise specified, with minimal differentiation (AML-M0, French-American-British classification), have been refined in the 2008 World Health Organization (WHO) classification. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) expression in AML-M0 has been proposed by others as a surrogate for RUNX1 (runt-related transcription factor 1) mutations, a mutation associated with distinct gene expression profiles in AML-M0. In this study, we investigated the significance of TdT expression in AML-M0 cases defined using the 2008 WHO classification criteria. Demographic, laboratory and clinical information were obtained from the hospital medical records. Statistical analysis was performed using Student's t-test, log-rank test and Fisher's exact test. The study group included 30 AML-M0 patients (male:female=19:11; median age: 60 years). In all, 10 cases of AML-M0 were positive for TdT(+) and 20 cases were negative for TdT(-). Patients with TdT+ AML-M0 had higher peripheral blood and bone marrow blast counts compared to patients with TdT- AML-M0 (P=0.01). TdT expression in AML-M0 was not associated with a distinct immunophenotype. Monoclonal IgH and TCR gene rearrangements were frequent, but independent of TdT expression in AML-M0. TdT expression in AML-M0 correlated with trisomy 13 and inversely correlated with aberrations of chromosomes 5 and 17. Among six patients with AML-M0 who received a stem cell transplant, overall survival was significantly longer for the three TdT+ patients compared with the three TdT- patients (P=0.03). In the TdT+AML-M0 subgroup, the three patients with stem cell transplant had better overall survival compared with five patients who did not receive stem cell transplant (P=0.01). We conclude that AML-M0, as currently defined in the 2008 WHO classification, can be divided into two groups based on TdT expression. Although there is a need to assess a greater number of patients, our results suggest that TdT positivity in AML-M0 identifies a subset of patients with a better prognosis after stem cell transplant.

PMID:
22936064
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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