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Acute myeloid leukemia with t(8;21)(q22;q22) is characterized by considerable clinical and biological heterogeneity leading to relapse in up to 40% of patients. We sequenced coding regions or hotspot areas of 66 recurrently mutated genes in a cohort of 331 t(8;21) patients. At least 1 mutation, in addition to t(8;21), was identified in 95%, with a mean of 2.2 driver mutations per patient. Recurrent mutations occurred in genes related to RAS/RTK signaling (63.4%), epigenetic regulators (45%), cohesin complex (13.6%), MYC signaling (10.3%), and the spliceosome (7.9%). Our study identified mutations in previously unappreciated genes: GIGYF2, DHX15, and G2E3 Based on high mutant levels, pairwise precedence, and stability at relapse, epigenetic regulator mutations were likely to occur before signaling mutations. In 34% of RAS/RTKmutated patients, we identified multiple mutations in the same pathway. Deep sequencing (∼42 000×) of 126 mutations in 62 complete remission samples from 56 patients identified 16 persisting mutations in 12 patients, of whom 5 lacked RUNX1-RUNX1T1 in quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis. KIT high mutations defined by a mutant level ≥25% were associated with inferior relapse-free survival (hazard ratio, 1.96; 95% confidence interval, 1.22-3.15; P = .005). Together with age and white blood cell counts, JAK2, FLT3-internal tandem duplicationhigh, and KIT high mutations were identified as significant prognostic factors for overall survival in multivariate analysis. Whole-exome sequencing was performed on 19 paired diagnosis, remission, and relapse trios. Exome-wide analysis showed an average of 16 mutations with signs of substantial clonal evolution. Based on the resemblance of diagnosis and relapse pairs, genetically stable (n = 13) and unstable (n = 6) subgroups could be identified.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1140 - 1151


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Alleles, Chromosomes, Human, Pair 21, Chromosomes, Human, Pair 8, Clonal Evolution, DNA Mutational Analysis, Female, GTP Phosphohydrolases, Genomics, Humans, Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute, Male, Membrane Proteins, Middle Aged, Mutation, Neoplasm Recurrence, Local, Prognosis, Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras), Remission Induction, Signal Transduction, Translocation, Genetic, Young Adult