Background: The prognostic effect of Wilms tumor 1 (WT1) expression at the diagnosis of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) has been controversial. The aim of the present study was to determine the correlations of WT1 expression at the diagnosis of AML with established prognostic alterations.
Patients and methods: We analyzed diagnostic bone marrow samples from 252 patients. WT1 expression, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the WT1 gene (rs16754), and Fms-like tyrosine kinase receptor-3 internal tandem duplication (FLT3-ITD) mutation were analyzed for all patients. The nucleophosmin 1 (NPM1) mutation and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-α (CEBPA) double mutation were analyzed for cytogenetically normal (CN)-AML. The KIT mutation was analyzed for core-binding factor AML.
Results: Within the cytogenetically favorable prognosis group, WT1 expression in AML with inv(16) or t(15;17) was significantly greater than that in AML with t(8;21). In cases with CN-AML, FLT3-ITD and NPM1 mutations both correlated with greater expression of WT1, and the CEBPA double mutation was related to lower WT1 expression. The existence of both FLT3-ITD and NPM1 mutations showed synergistically greater expression of WT1 in CN-AML. SNP in the WT1 gene (rs16754) was significantly associated with lower expression of WT1. The WT1 levels were not prognostic factors in the total cohort or any cytogenetic group or stratified by SNP status.
Conclusion: Because WT1 expression has correlated with known prognostic factors, the prognostic effect of WT1 levels could be misunderstood depending on the distribution of the collaborative mutations in each cohort. We have concluded that the prognostic significance of WT1 at the diagnosis of AML is weak compared with the other established prognostic factors.
Keywords: AML; North Japan Hematology Study Group; Prognostic stratification; SNP; WT1.
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