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Ann Hematol. 2008 Jun;87(6):467-74. doi: 10.1007/s00277-008-0461-4. Epub 2008 Mar 20.

Therapy-related patterns of cytogenetic abnormalities in acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome post polycythemia vera: single center experience and review of literature.

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Department of Clinical Chemistry and Transfusion Medicine, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, 413 45 Göteborg, Sweden.


A minor fraction of patients with polycythemia vera (PV) develop a terminal acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Analysis of the cytogenetic abnormalities during AML or MDS may help in understanding if this development is part of the natural course of the disease or induced by myelosuppressive therapy. Thirty-six cases with AML or MDS post PV, collected in a single Swedish institution during a 33-year period, are described with special regard to time to development of AML or MDS, therapy given during active PV, and cytogenetic findings during AML or MDS. A further 118 cases of AML or MDS post PV, in whom type of therapy during active PV and cytogenetic findings during AML or MDS were reported, were collected from the literature. AML or MDS developed in our own series after 1-30 years with a fairly constant rate (two cases per year). The most frequent cytogenetic abnormalities were +1q, -5, 5q-, -7, 7q-, +8, +9, 11q-, 13q-, and 20q-. When patients in the total material (n = 154) were divided with regard to treatment during active PV, marked differences were observed. The highest frequency of abnormalities was found in patients given multiple lines of therapy (n = 61), dominating features being -5/5q- in 28 patients (46%), -7/7q- in 19 patients (31%), numerous translocations in 24 patients (39%), and unidentified markers in 22 patients (36%). Half of the patients treated with hydroxyurea alone showed a -5 or 5q- abnormality. In patients treated with phlebotomy alone, +8 and +9 were the most frequent findings. The type of therapy given during active PV influences the type of chromosome abnormalities present during terminal AML or MDS and can also be instrumental in the development of leukemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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