Purpose: To analyze the prevalence and clinical implications of Wilms' tumor 1 (WT1) single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs16754 in the context of other prognostic markers in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
Patients and methods: Available diagnostic marrow specimens (n = 790) from 1,328 patients enrolled in three consecutive Children's Cancer Group/Children's Oncology Group trials were analyzed for the presence of SNP rs16754. SNP status was correlated with disease characteristics, WT1 expression level, and clinical outcome.
Results: SNP rs16754 was present in 229 (29%) of 790 patients. The SNP was significantly more common in Asian and Hispanic patients and less common in white patients (P < .001). SNP rs16754 was also less common in patients with inv(16) (P = .043) and more common in patients with -5/del(5q) (P = .047). WT1 expression levels were significantly higher in patients with rs16754 or with WT1 mutations compared with WT1 wild-type patients (P = .021). Five-year overall survival (OS) for patients with and without the SNP was 60% and 50%, respectively (P = .031). Prognostic assessment by risk group demonstrated that in patients with low-risk disease, OS for those with and without SNP rs16754 was 90% versus 64% (P < .001) with a corresponding disease-free survival of 72% versus 53% (P = .041).
Conclusion: The presence of SNP rs16754 was an independent predictor of improved OS; outcome differences were most pronounced in the low-risk subgroup. The high prevalence of WT1 SNP rs16754, and its correlation with improved outcome, identifies WT1 SNP rs16754 as a potentially important molecular marker of prognosis in pediatric AML.