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Leukemia. 2012 Jun;26(6):1247-54. doi: 10.1038/leu.2011.382. Epub 2012 Jan 13.

Prognostic significance of DNA methyltransferase 3A mutations in cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia: a study by the Acute Leukemia French Association.

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Laboratory of Hematology, Biology and Pathology Center, CHRU of Lille, Lille, France.


Recently, DNA methyltransferase 3A (DNMT3A) mutations have been identified in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the highest frequency being found within cytogenetically normal (CN) AML. In this study, diagnostic samples from 123 adults younger than 60 years with primary CN-AML homogeneously treated in the Acute Leukemia French Association-9801 and -9802 trials were screened for mutations in DNMT3A-conserved domains by direct sequencing. Patients were also assessed for the presence of FLT3 (fms-like tyrosine kinase receptor-3), NPM1 (nucleophosmin), CEBPA, WT1 (Wilms tumor 1), IDH1 (isocitrate dehydrogenase 1) and IDH2 mutations. Thirty-eight mutations were detected in 36 patients (29%): 36 nucleotide substitutions, mostly affecting amino-acid residue R882 and two frameshift deletions. DNMT3A mutations were significantly associated with the French-American-British subtypes M4/M5 and the presence of NPM1 mutations. In the whole cohort, DNMT3A mutated patients had a shorter event-free survival (5-year EFS: 13% vs 32%, P = 0.02) and overall survival (5-year OS: 23% vs 45%, P = 0.02) compared with DNMT3A wild-type patients. In multivariate analysis including age, white blood cell count, NPM1/FLT3-internal tandem duplication/CEBPA risk group and DNMT3A mutational status, the presence of a DNMT3A mutation remained an independent adverse prognostic factor for EFS and OS, suggesting that testing for DNMT3A mutations could help further improve risk stratification in CN-AML.

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