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FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 internal tandem duplication (FLT3-ITD) mutations are among the most frequent molecular aberrations in patients with acute myeloid leukemia. We retrospectively analyzed 324 patients with acute myeloid leukemia treated with front-line induction chemotherapy between October 2004 and March 2010. Fifty-six patients had FLT3-ITD mutation at diagnosis. Fifty-one (91%) patients with FLT3-ITD achieved complete remission. Thirteen patients had FLT3 analysis at complete remission. None had FLT3-ITD. Twenty-five (49%) patients with FLT3-ITD relapsed. Of these, 13 (52%) had FLT3-ITD at relapse (3 negative and 9 not done). Among the 201 patients without FLT3-ITD at diagnosis who achieved complete remission, 77 (38%) relapsed among whom 8 (10%) patients acquired FLT3-ITD clone. We conclude that FLT3-ITD mutations are unstable at follow up and may occur for the first time at relapse. Therefore, FLT3-ITD is not a reliable marker for minimal residual disease in acute myeloid leukemia.


Aziz Nazha, Jorge Cortes, Stefan Faderl, Sherry Pierce, Naval Daver, Tapan Kadia, Gautam Borthakur, Raja Luthra, Hagop Kantarjian, Farhad Ravandi. Activating internal tandem duplication mutations of the fms-like tyrosine kinase-3 (FLT3-ITD) at complete response and relapse in patients with acute myeloid leukemia. Haematologica. 2012 Aug;97(8):1242-5

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PMID: 22532519

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