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Blood. 2003 Jul 1;102(1):43-52. Epub 2003 Mar 6.

Clinical-cytogenetic associations in 306 patients with therapy-related myelodysplasia and myeloid leukemia: the University of Chicago series.

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Section of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, MC2115, University of Chicago, 5841 S Maryland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


Therapy-related myelodysplasia and myeloid leukemia (t-MDS/t-AML) is a distinctive clinical syndrome occurring after exposure to chemotherapy (CT) or radiotherapy (RT). We report findings on 306 consecutive patients referred to our institution with morphologic review and cytogenetic analyses. Since 1972, 141 males and 165 females with a median age of 51 years (range, 3-83 years) at primary diagnosis and 58 years (range, 6-86 years) at secondary diagnosis were analyzed. Patients had been administered various cytotoxic agents, including alkylating agents (240 patients, 78%) and topoisomerase 2 inhibitors (115 patients, 39%). One hundred twenty-one (40%) had undergone CT alone, 43 (14%) had undergone RT alone, and 139 (45%) had undergone both modalities. At diagnosis of t-MDS/t-AML, 282 (92%) had clonal abnormalities involving chromosome 5 (n = 63), chromosome 7 (n = 85), chromosomes 5 and 7 (n = 66), recurring balanced rearrangements (n = 31), other clonal abnormalities (n = 39), or normal karyotype (n = 24). Abnormalities of chromosome 5, 7, or both accounted for 76% of all cases with an abnormal karyotype. Seventeen patients acquired t-MDS/t-AML after autologous stem cell transplantation, but no unique pattern of cytogenetic abnormalities was observed. Shorter latency was observed for patients with balanced rearrangements (median, 28 vs 67 months; P <.0001). Patients with acute leukemia were more likely to have balanced rearrangement than those with myelodysplasia (28% vs 4%; P <.0001). Median survival time after diagnosis of t-MDS/t-AML was 8 months; survival at 5 years was less than 10%. These data confirm and extend previous associations between clinical, morphologic, and cytogenetic findings in t-MDS/t-AML.

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