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J Clin Oncol. 1997 Jun;15(6):2262-8.

Expression of c-mpl mRNA, the receptor for thrombopoietin, in acute myeloid leukemia blasts identifies a group of patients with poor response to intensive chemotherapy.

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  • 1Department of Hematologic Oncology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA.



c-mpl, the human homolog of v-mpl, is the receptor for thrombopoietin. Given that c-mpl expression carries an adverse prognosis in myelodysplastic syndrome and given the prognostic significance of expression of other growth factor receptors in other diseases, we attempted to determine whether c-mp/mRNA expression is a prognostic factor in acute myeloid leukemia (AML).


We analyzed bone marrow samples from 45 newly diagnosed AML patients by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction.


Samples from 27 patients (60%) expressed c-mpl mRNA (c-mpl+); their clinical and laboratory features were compared with those of the 18 patients without detectable levels of c-mpl(c-mpl-). No significant differences in age, sex, leukocyte count, French-American-British subtype, or karyotype group were found. c-mpl+ patients more commonly had secondary AML (41% v 11%; P = .046) and more commonly expressed CD34 (67% v 12%; P = .0004). There was no significant difference in complete remission (CR) rate. However, c-mpl+ patients had shorter CR durations (P = .008; median, 6.0 v > 17.0 months). This was true when only de novo AML patients were considered and when controlling for age, cytogenetics, or CD34 expression. There was a trend toward shorter survival in c-mpl+ patients (P = .058; median, 7.8 v 9.0 months).


These data suggest that c-mpl expression is an adverse prognostic factor for treatment outcome in adult AML that must be considered in the analysis of clinical studies using thrombopoietin in AML.

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