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Br J Haematol. 2005 Jul;130(2):196-202.

Impact of FLT3 mutations and promyelocytic leukaemia-breakpoint on clinical characteristics and prognosis in acute promyelocytic leukaemia.

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Laboratory for Leukemia Diagnostics, Department of Internal Medicine III, Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, University Hospital Grosshadern, Munich, Germany.


In the present study 170 newly diagnosed acute promyelocytic leukaemia patients (M3: n = 121; M3v: n = 49) were molecularly characterised with respect to PML breakpoint and additional molecular mutations. In total, 83 patients were positive for bcr1 (49%), five for bcr2 (3%) and 82 for bcr3 (48%). Bcr3 was more frequent in M3v (65.3%) compared with M3 (41.3%) (P = 0.005). Cases with bcr3 showed a significantly higher white blood cell count (median: 3.65 x 10(9)/l vs. 1.59 x 10(9)/l, P = 0.003), as well as a higher PML-RARAABL expression ratio (14.8% vs. 72.7%, P < 0.005) compared with bcr1. FLT3-length-mutations were detected more frequently together with bcr3 compared with bcr1 (56.5% vs. 19.4%, P < 0.001) and in M3v compared with M3 (64.5% vs. 24.1%, P < 0.005). FLT3 tyrosine kinase mutations were found in eight cases (6.4%) and were distributed equally within the total group. Analysis for further mutations revealed no MLL-PTD and KIT mutations and only two cases of 99 analysed (2%) with NRAS mutations. FLT3-mutations were detected in 62 of 139 cases (44.6%) and associated with a significant lower overall survival (P = 0.0339). In addition, cases with bcr3 showed a tendency for a worse event-free survival (P = 0.0795) compared with the bcr1 group.

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