Send to

Choose Destination
Semin Oncol. 2008 Aug;35(4):365-77. doi: 10.1053/j.seminoncol.2008.04.007.

Cytogenetic, molecular genetic, and clinical characteristics of acute myeloid leukemia with a complex karyotype.

Author information

Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210-1228, USA. <>


Patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) harboring three or more acquired chromosome aberrations in the absence of the prognostically favorable t(8;21)(q22;q22), inv(16)(p13q22)/t(6;16)(p13;q22), and t(15;17)(q22;q21) aberrations form a separate category - AML with a complex karyotype. They constitute 10% to 12% of all AML patents, with the incidence of complex karyotypes increasing with the more advanced age. Recent studies using molecular-cytogenetic techniques (spectral karyotyping [SKY], multiplex fluorescence in situ hybridization [M-FISH]) and array comparative genomic hybridization (a-CGH) considerably improved characterization of previously unidentified, partially identified, or cryptic chromosome aberrations, and allowed precise delineation of genomic imbalances. The emerging nonrandom pattern of abnormalities includes relative paucity, but not absence, of balanced rearrangements (translocations, insertions, or inversions), predominance of aberrations leading to loss of chromosome material (monosomies, deletions, and unbalanced translocations) that involve, in decreasing order, chromosome arms 5q, 17p, 7q, 18q, 16q, 17q, 12p, 20q, 18p, and 3p, and the presence of recurrent, albeit less frequent and often hidden (in marker chromosomes and unbalanced translocations) aberrations leading to overrepresentation of segments from 8q, 11q, 21q, 22q, 1p, 9p, and 13q. Several candidate genes have been identified as targets of genomic losses, for example, TP53, CTNNA1, NF1, ETV6, and TCF4, and amplifications, for example, ERG, ETS2, APP, ETS1, FLI1, MLL, DDX6, GAB2, MYC, TRIB1, and CDX2. Treatment outcomes of complex karyotype patients receiving chemotherapy are very poor. They can be improved to some extent by allogeneic stem cell transplantation in younger patients. It is hoped that better understanding of genomic alterations will result in identification of novel therapeutic targets and improved prognosis in patients with complex karyotypes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center