The overall survival of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remains poor due to both intrinsic and acquired chemotherapy resistance. Over expression of ATP binding cassette (ABC) proteins in AML cells has been suggested as a putative mechanism of drug resistance. Genetic variation among individuals affecting the expression or function of these proteins may contribute to inter-individual variation in treatment outcomes. DNA from pre-treatment bone marrow or blood samples from 261 patients age 20-85 years, who received cytarabine and anthracycline-based therapy at Roswell Park Cancer Institute between 1994 and 2006, was genotyped for eight non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms in the ABCB1, ABCC1 and ABCG2 drug transporter genes. Heterozygous (AG) or homozygous (AA) variant genotypes for rs2231137 (G34A) in the ABCG2 (BRCP) gene, compared to the wild type (GG) genotype were associated with both significantly improved survival (HR=0.44, 95%CI=0.25-0.79), and increased odds for toxicity (OR=8.41, 95%CI= 1.10-64.28). Thus genetic polymorphisms in the ABCG2 (BRCP) gene may contribute to differential survival outcomes and toxicities in AML patients via a mechanism of decreased drug efflux in both, AML cells and normal progenitors.
Keywords: Acute myeloid leukemia; multidrug resistance; polymorphisms; survival; toxicity.