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Leukemia. 2005 Nov;19(11):1919-28.

Therapy-related leukemia: clinical characteristics and analysis of new molecular risk factors in 96 adult patients.

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Department of Hematology, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel.


Therapy-related leukemia or myelodysplasia (t-leuk/MDS) is a serious problem that is increasing in frequency. We studied the clinical characteristics of 96 patients (pts) with a mean age of 48 years, and analyzed the molecular parameters that could predispose to t-leuk/MDS. Hematological malignancies were the most common primary (53%), followed by breast and ovarian cancer (30% combined). The mean latency until the development of t-AML was 45.5 months. Median survival was 10 months. Cytogenetics was abnormal in 89% of pts. FLT3 internal tandem duplications were found in six of 41 (14.6%) pts, of whom four had an abnormal karyotype. Analysis of drug metabolism and disposition genes showed a protective effect of the CYP3A4 1*B genotype against the development of t-leuk/MDS, whereas the CC genotype of MDR1 C3435T and the NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase1 codon 187 polymorphism were both noncontributory. Microsatellite instability (MSI) analysis using fluoresceinated PCR with ABI sequence analyzer demonstrated that 41% of pts had high levels of MSI in four or more of 10 microsatellite loci. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated reduced expression of MSH2 and MLH1 in 6/10 pts with MSI as compared to 0/5 of pts without MSI. In conclusion, genetic predisposition as well as epigenetic events contribute to the etiology of t-AML/MDS.

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