Frequency of FLT3 Internal Tandem Duplications in Adult Syrian Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Normal Karyotype

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Microbiology, Hematology and Immunology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Damascus University, Ministry of High Education, Damascus, Syria.

2 Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Human Genetics Division, Atomic Energy Commission, Damascus, Syria.


Objective: Activating mutations of the fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 gene (FLT3) by internal tandem duplications (ITDs) in the juxtamembrane domain (JMD) have been reported in ~30% of adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients with cytogenetically normal karyotype (CN). However, FLT3/ITD mutations are frequently accompanied with leukocytosis, high percentage of blasts in bone marrow (BM), and increased the risk of treatment failure in AML patients. FLT3-ITD mutated AML patients mainly with normal karyotype have higher relapse probability and shorter duration of complete remission (CR) after chemotherapy, so FLT3-ITD mutation is considered as an independent poor prognostic factor in AML. Methods: FLT3-ITD and FLT3-KTD were studied by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphism- PCR (RFLP-PCR) in 44 adults AML patients with cytogenetically normal karyotype (AML-CN) at diagnosis to characterize FLT3 status. The results were correlated with the prognostic factors. Results: In this study, FLT3-ITD mutations were identified in 7 (15.9%) of the 44 AML-CN patients. Among the 7 patients with FLT3/ITD mutations, 6 patients revealed a typical ITDs mutation (fragment size was 329 bp) and one patient showed untypical ITD mutation (fragment size was ~400 bp). Whereas 37 patients (61.7%) were FLT3-ITD. None of all AML-CN patients examined showed FLT3-KTD mutations. Conclusions: Our results support that FLT3-ITD are independent adverse prognostic factors for elderly AML-CN patients and are associated with low overall survival (OS), low rate of CR, high relapse rate (RR), and high percentage of BM blast at diagnosis. We concluded, FLT3 mutation analysis should be performed as a routine test in AML-CN patients.


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