Concomitant ABCG2 overexpression and FLT3-ITD mutation identify a subset of acute myeloid leukemia patients at high risk of relapse.

Division of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, Department of Medical and Morphological Researches, AOU Udine, Udine, Italy.
Cancer (Impact Factor: 5.2). 05/2011; 117(10):2156-62. DOI: 10.1002/cncr.25753
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT ABCG2 protein overexpression and FLT3 internal tandem duplication (ITD) correlate with higher relapse rate and shorter disease-free survival (DFS) in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but no data are available on the possible effect of concomitant presence of these 2 factors.
The authors analyzed the outcome of 166 cases of adult AML patients who were homogeneously treated with a fludarabine-based induction therapy.
ABCG2 overexpression and FLT3-ITD were detected in 83 (50%) and 47 (28%) patients, respectively. A significant correlation was found between ABCG2 positivity and FLT3 mutation, with 33 (40%) ITD in 83 ABCG2-positive patients compared with 14 (17%) ITD in 83 ABCG2-negative patients (P = .002). Complete remission (CR) after induction therapy was achieved in 95 (57%) patients. Neither ABCG2 overexpression nor FLT3-ITD had any impact on achievement of CR. Relapse occurred in 42 of 95 (44%) patients at a median time of 28 months. Time to relapse was shortened in patients overexpressing ABCG2 (P = .0004). DFS was not affected by FLT3-ITD alone, but FLT3 mutation significantly worsened long-term outcome of ABCG2-positive patients. DFS at 1 and 3 years in patients with overexpression of both ABCG2 and FLT3-ITD was only 36% and 28%, respectively; in ABCG2-positive/FLT3-negative patients, DFS at 1 and 3 years was 65% and 48%, respectively; and in ABCG2-negative cases (regardless of FLT3 status), DFS at 1 and 3 years was greater than 85% and 75%.
Concomitant overexpression of ABCG2 and FLT3-ITD is relatively frequent and identifies a subgroup of AML patients with a significantly worse prognosis. The possible interactions between these 2 prognostic factors need to be defined.

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