ASXL1 mutations identify a high-risk subgroup of older patients with primary cytogenetically normal AML within the ELN Favorable genetic category

  • Metzeler K
  • Becker H
  • Maharry K
 et al. 
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The associations of mutations in the enhancer of trithorax and polycomb family gene ASXL1 with pretreatment patient characteristics, outcomes, and gene-/microRNA-expression profiles in primary cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia (CN-AML) are unknown. We analyzed 423 adult patients for ASXL1 mutations, other prognostic gene mutations, and gene-/microRNA-expression profiles. ASXL1 mutations were 5 times more common in older (≥ 60 years) patients (16.2%) than those younger than 60 years (3.2%; P < .001). Among older patients, ASXL1 mutations associated with wild-type NPM1 (P < .001), absence of FLT3-internal tandem duplications (P = .002), mutated CEBPA (P = .01), and with inferior complete remission (CR) rate (P = .04), disease-free survival (DFS; P = .03), overall survival (OS; P = .006), and event-free survival (EFS; P = .002). Within the European LeukemiaNet (ELN) genetic categories of older CN-AML, ASXL1 mutations associated with inferior CR rate (P = .02), OS (P < .001), and EFS (P < .001) among ELN Favorable, but not among ELN Intermediate-I patients. Multivariable analyses confirmed associations of ASXL1 mutations with unfavorable CR rate (P = .03), DFS (P < .001), OS (P < .001), and EFS (P < .001) among ELN Favorable patients. We identified an ASXL1 mutation-associated gene-expression signature, but no microRNA-expression signature. This first study of ASXL1 mutations in primary CN-AML demonstrates that ASXL1-mutated older patients, particularly within the ELN Favorable group, have unfavorable outcomes and may be candidates for experimental treatment approaches.

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  • Klaus H. Metzeler

  • Heiko Becker

  • Kati Maharry

  • Michael D. Radmacher

  • Jessica Kohlschmidt

  • Krzysztof Mrózek

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