KMT2A rearrangements (KMT2A-r) are among the most common structural aberrations in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and are very important for the risk group stratification of patients. Here, we report the outcome of 967 pediatric AML patients with a known KMT2A-r status. The large cohort was characterized by morphology, multicolor flow cytometry, classical cytogenetics and mutation analysis via panel sequencing. In total, the blasts of 241 patients (24.9%) showed KMT2A-r. KMT2A-r is associated with FAB M5, a high white blood cell count and younger age at diagnosis. When subgroups were combined, KMT2A-r had no impact on event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS); however, various subgroups showed a different prognosis, ranging from a <50% OS for KMT2A/AFDN (n = 11) to a 100% chance of survival for patients harboring the rare translocation KMT2A/SEPTIN9 (n = 3, follow up of 3.7 to 9.6 years). A positive correlation of KMT2A-r with KRAS mutations (p < 0.001) existed, albeit without any prognostic impact. In addition, FLT3-ITDs were detected less frequently in AML with KMT2A-r (p < 0.001). Furthermore, KMT2A-r were mutually exclusive, with mutations in NPM1 (p = 0.002), KIT (p = 0.036), WT1 (p < 0.001) and CEBPA (p = 0.006), and translocations NUP98/NSD1 (p = 0.009), RUNX1/RUNX1T1 (p = 0.003) and CBFB/MYH11 (p = 0.006). In the 346 patients tested for CSPG4 expression, a correlation between CSPG4 expression and KMT2A-r was confirmed. However, CSPG4 expression also occurred in patients without KMT2A-r and had no significant prognostic impact on EFS and OS.
Keywords: AML-BFM; CSPG4; KMT2A; MLL; NG2; acute myeloid leukemia; childhood acute myeloid leukemia; pediatric.