Do AML patients with DNMT3A exon 23 mutations benefit from idarubicin as compared to daunorubicin? A single center experience

Oncotarget. 2011 Nov;2(11):850-61. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.347.


Mutations in DNMT3A encoding DNA methyltransferase 3A were recently described in patients with acute myeloid leukemia. To assess their prognostic significance, we determined the mutational status of DNMT3A exon 23 in 288 patients with AML excluding acute promyelocytic leukemia, aged from 18 to 65 years and treated in Toulouse University Hospital. A mutation was detected in 39 patients (13.5%). All DNMT3A exon 23+ patients had intermediate-risk cytogenetics. Mutations significantly correlated with a higher WBC count (p less than 0.001), NPM1 and FLT3-ITD mutations (p=0.027). DNMT3A mutations were conserved through xenotransplantation in immunodeficient mice. No difference in outcome between DNMT3A exon 23+ and DNMT3A exon 23- patients was found even if the results were stratified by NPM1 or FLT3-ITD status. However, DNMT3A exon 23+ patients had better median DFS (not reached vs 11.6 months, p=0.009) and OS (not reached vs 14.3 months, p=0.005) as compared to DNMT3A exon 23- patients when treated with idarubicin, whereas patients treated with daunorubicin had similar outcome regardless the DNMT3A status. This study shows that DNMT3A mutations have no impact on outcome but could be a predictive factor for response to idarubicin and thus, could have a direct influence in the way AML patients should be managed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use*
  • DNA (Cytosine-5-)-Methyltransferases / genetics*
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Daunorubicin / therapeutic use*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Exons
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Idarubicin / therapeutic use*
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / drug therapy
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / genetics*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Prognosis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays
  • Young Adult


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • DNA (Cytosine-5-)-Methyltransferases
  • DNA methyltransferase 3A
  • Idarubicin
  • Daunorubicin