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Am J Hematol. 2013 Jan;88(1):56-9. doi: 10.1002/ajh.23345. Epub 2012 Oct 31.

FLT3 mutations in myelodysplastic syndrome and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.

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Department of Leukemia and Hematopathology, The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA.


FMS-like tyrosine kinase III (FLT3) mutations occur in one-third of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients and predict poor outcome. The incidence and impact of FLT3 in myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) is unknown. We conducted a retrospective review to identify WHO MDS and CMML patients with FLT3 mutations at diagnosis. A total of 2,119 patients with MDS and 466 patients with CMML were evaluated at MD Anderson between 1997 and 2010. Of these, FLT3 mutation analysis was performed on 1,232 (58%) MDS and 302 (65%) CMML patients. FLT3 mutations were identified in 12 (0.95%) MDS patients: 9 (75%) had FLT3-ITD mutation and 3 had FLT3-tyrosine kinase domain (TKD) mutation. MDS patients with FLT3 mutations were younger (P = 0.02) and presented as RAEB (P = 0.03) more frequently. Median overall survival (OS) for FLT3-mutated MDS patients was 19.0 months versus 16.4 months for FLT3-nonmutated MDS patients (P = 0.08). FLT3 mutations were identified in 13 (4.3%) CMML patients: 8 had FLT3-ITD mutation and 5 had FLT3-TKD mutation. There were no significant differences in demographic and disease characteristics among CMML patients with and without FLT3 mutations. Median OS for FLT3-mutated CMML patients was 10.8 months versus 21.3 months for FLT3-nonmutated CMML patients (P = 0.12). FLT3 occurs in MDS and CMML at a lower frequency than AML and does not predict poor outcome.

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