Background: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with initial hyperleukocytosis is associated with high early mortality and a poor prognosis. The aims of this study were to delineate the underlying molecular landscape in the largest cytogenetic risk group, cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia (CN-AML), and to assess the prognostic relevance of recurrent mutations in the context of hyperleukocytosis and clinical risk factors.
Methods: The authors performed a targeted sequencing of 49 recurrently mutated genes in 56 patients with newly diagnosed CN-AML and initial hyperleukocytosis of ≥100 G/L treated in the AMLCG99 study. The median number of mutated genes per patient was 5. The most common mutations occurred in FLT3 (73%), NPM1 (75%), and TET2 (45%).
Results: The predominant pathways affected by mutations were signaling (84% of patients), epigenetic modifiers (75% of patients), and nuclear transport (NPM1; 75%) of patients. AML with hyperleukocytosis was enriched for molecular subtypes that negatively affected the prognosis, including a high percentage of patients presenting with co-occurring mutations in signaling and epigenetic modifiers such as FLT3 internal tandem duplications and TET2 mutations.
Conclusions: Despite these unique molecular features, clinical risk factors, including high white blood count, hemoglobin level, and lactate dehydrogenase level at baseline, remained the predictors for overall survival and relapse-free survival in hyperleukocytotic CN-AML.
Keywords: acute myeloid leukemia (AML); hyperleukocytosis; molecular profiling; normal karyotype.
© 2022 The Authors. Cancer published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Cancer Society.