Background: The objectives of this study were to evaluate the expression of brain and acute leukemia, cytoplasmic (BAALC) gene and erythroblast transformation-specific related gene (ERG) in de novo cases of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and identify roles in disease progression and outcome. Materials and
Methods: This study included 50 newly diagnosed AML patients, along with 10 apparently healthy normal controls. BAALC and ERG expression was detected in the bone marrow of both patients and controls using real-time RT-PCR.
Results: BAALC and ERG expression was detected in 52% of cases but not in any controls. There was a statistically significant correlation between BAALC and ERG gene expression and age (p- value =0.004 and 0.019, respectively). No statistical significance was noted for sex, lymphadenopathy, hepatomegaly, splenomegaly, other hematological findings, immunophenotyping and FAB sub-classification except for ERG gene and FAB (p-value=0.058). A statistical significant correlation was found between response to treatment with ERG expression (p-value=0.028) and age (p-value=0.014). A statistically significant variation in overall survival was evident with patient age, BM blast cells, FAB subgroups, BAALC and ERG expression (p-value= <0.001, 0.045, 0.041, <0.008 and 0.025 respectively).
Conclusions: Our results suggest that BAALC and ERG genes are specific significant molecular markers in AML disease progression, response to treatment and survival.