Prognostic significance of FLT3 internal tandem repeat in patients with de novo acute myeloid leukemia treated with reinforced courses of chemotherapy

Leukemia. 2002 Sep;16(9):1699-704. doi: 10.1038/sj.leu.2402622.


FLT3 internal tandem duplications (FLT3-ITDs) are present in nearly 25% of patients with AML and have been associated with poor response to conventional therapy and poor outcome. We retrospectively evaluated the effect of reinforced courses of chemotherapy on the prognostic value of FLT3-ITDs in 159 AML patients prospectively enrolled in the ALFA-9000 trial, which randomly compared three reinforced induction regimens (standard 3+7 including high-dose daunorubicin, double induction, and timed-sequential therapy). FLT3-ITD was present in 40/159 (25%) blast samples and associated with high WBC (P = 0.002) and cytogenetics (P < 0.001) with a higher incidence (35%) in patients with a normal karyotype. There was no difference in CR rate between FLT3-wt and FLT3-ITD patients (80% vs 78%). Relapse-free survival (RFS) was similar in both groups (5-year RFS, 33% vs 32%; P = 0.41), even after adjustment for age, sex, WBC, cytogenetics, and treatment arm. A trend to a worse survival was observed in the FLT3-ITD group (estimated 5-year OS, 23% vs 37%; P = 0.09), mainly in patients with a normal karyotype. This was associated with a dramatic outcome in relapsing FLT3-ITD patients (estimated 3-year post-relapse survival, 0% vs 27%; P = 0.04). These results suggest that the bad prognosis associated with FLT3-ITDs in AML might be partly overcome using reinforced chemotherapy. Early detection of FLT3 mutations might thus be useful to intensify induction as well as post-remission therapy in FLT3-ITD patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid / drug therapy*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics*
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stem Cell Factor / genetics
  • Survival Rate
  • Tandem Repeat Sequences / genetics*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • fms-Like Tyrosine Kinase 3


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Stem Cell Factor
  • FLT3 protein, human
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • fms-Like Tyrosine Kinase 3