ABSTRACT: The molecular mechanisms underlying the development and evolution of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) are largely unknown. The increasing number of blast cells in the bone marrow correlate with poor prognosis and risk of developing acute leukemia. Such progression is frequently associated with increasing chromosomal abnormalities and genetic mutations. A cohort of 75 MDS patients were investigated for RAS, FMS and p53 mutations, and these molecular findings were related to cytogenetics, clinical status, transformation to acute leukemia, prognostic scores and survival. A mutation incidence of 57% (43/75) was found, with 48% (36/75) RAS mutations, 12% (9/75) FMS mutations and 8% (4/50) p53 mutations. The mutation status for RAS and FMS was related to MDS subgroup, increasing with poor-risk disease. The highest incidence was in the chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) subgroup. The most frequent RAS mutations were of codon 12 and a predominance of FMS codon 969 mutations was observed. A statistically significant increased frequency of transformation to AML was observed in MDS patients harboring RAS or FMS mutations (P < 0.02). Patients with oncogene mutations had a significantly poorer survival compared with those without mutations at 2 years and at the end of the period of follow-up (P < 0.02). Multivariate analysis including mutation, age, gender, diagnosis (FAB), cytogenetics and International score shows that the International score and mutation and age is the best predictive model of a poor outcome, (P < 0.0001). When the analysis was undertaken without the International score, mutation and gender was the best predictor of poor survival (P = 0.005). This study shows that oncogene mutation, indicative of genetic instability, is associated with disease progression and poor survival in MDS.
Leukemia 06/1998; 12(6):887-92. · 9.56 Impact Factor