Gene Summary

Gene:ASXL1; additional sex combs like 1, transcriptional regulator
Aliases: MDS, BOPS
Summary:This gene is similar to the Drosophila additional sex combs gene, which encodes a chromatin-binding protein required for normal determination of segment identity in the developing embryo. The protein is a member of the Polycomb group of proteins, which are necessary for the maintenance of stable repression of homeotic and other loci. The protein is thought to disrupt chromatin in localized areas, enhancing transcription of certain genes while repressing the transcription of other genes. The protein encoded by this gene functions as a ligand-dependent co-activator for retinoic acid receptor in cooperation with nuclear receptor coactivator 1. Mutations in this gene are associated with myelodysplastic syndromes and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2009]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:putative Polycomb group protein ASXL1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 12 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (17)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 12 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Thrombocythemia, Essential
  • Oncogenes
  • Transcription
  • JAK2
  • Primary Myelofibrosis
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia
  • World Health Organization
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Acute Myeloid Leukaemia
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Karyotyping
  • Risk Factors
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Epigenetics
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes
  • DNA (Cytosine-5-)-Methyltransferase
  • Disease Progression
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Sex Factors
  • Ribonucleoproteins
  • Risk Assessment
  • Leukemic Gene Expression Regulation
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Mutation
  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Sequence Homology
  • Polycythemia Vera
  • Wilms Tumour
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • DNA Methylation
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Adolescents
  • Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Myeloproliferative Disorders
  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 2 Subunit
  • Chromosome 20
  • ASXL1
  • Young Adult
Tag cloud generated 12 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: ASXL1 (cancer-related)

Welch JS, Petti AA, Miller CA, et al.
TP53 and Decitabine in Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Myelodysplastic Syndromes.
N Engl J Med. 2016; 375(21):2023-2036 [PubMed] Related Publications
Background The molecular determinants of clinical responses to decitabine therapy in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are unclear. Methods We enrolled 84 adult patients with AML or MDS in a single-institution trial of decitabine to identify somatic mutations and their relationships to clinical responses. Decitabine was administered at a dose of 20 mg per square meter of body-surface area per day for 10 consecutive days in monthly cycles. We performed enhanced exome or gene-panel sequencing in 67 of these patients and serial sequencing at multiple time points to evaluate patterns of mutation clearance in 54 patients. An extension cohort included 32 additional patients who received decitabine in different protocols. Results Of the 116 patients, 53 (46%) had bone marrow blast clearance (<5% blasts). Response rates were higher among patients with an unfavorable-risk cytogenetic profile than among patients with an intermediate-risk or favorable-risk cytogenetic profile (29 of 43 patients [67%] vs. 24 of 71 patients [34%], P<0.001) and among patients with TP53 mutations than among patients with wild-type TP53 (21 of 21 [100%] vs. 32 of 78 [41%], P<0.001). Previous studies have consistently shown that patients with an unfavorable-risk cytogenetic profile and TP53 mutations who receive conventional chemotherapy have poor outcomes. However, in this study of 10-day courses of decitabine, neither of these risk factors was associated with a lower rate of overall survival than the rate of survival among study patients with intermediate-risk cytogenetic profiles. Conclusions Patients with AML and MDS who had cytogenetic abnormalities associated with unfavorable risk, TP53 mutations, or both had favorable clinical responses and robust (but incomplete) mutation clearance after receiving serial 10-day courses of decitabine. Although these responses were not durable, they resulted in rates of overall survival that were similar to those among patients with AML who had an intermediate-risk cytogenetic profile and who also received serial 10-day courses of decitabine. (Funded by the National Cancer Institute and others; number, NCT01687400 .).

Tenti E, Papayannidis C, Marconi G, et al.
Efficacy of Azacitidine in the treatment of adult patients aged 65 years or older with AML.
Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2016; 17(18):2479-2486 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Therapy for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in elderly populations (>65 years) is still a challenge for scientists and hematologists worldwide, and represents an urgent medical need. Notably, the identification and the recognition of molecular and epigenetic mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of such a heterogeneous disease, are providing new tools for a more successful and 'targeted' approach. Azacitidine is a hypomethylating agent (HMA) with relevant activity in patients affected by myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and AML with low blast cells percentage (>30%), in terms of reduction of transfusion dependence, and improvement of quality of life. Areas covered: This review summarizes the mechanism of action, safety profile and efficacy of azacitidine in the field of elderly AML populations, providing up-to-date references on this subset of high-risk patients. Expert opinion: HMAs are the first successful treatment for elderly patients with high-risk MDS and are effective for some AML subtypes. Translational studies based on gene expression profiling and molecular sequencing, would be able to identify, in the near future, patients with a favorable profile of response to these compounds suggesting new potential treatment combinations also.

Caivano A, La Rocca F, Simeon V, et al.
MicroRNA-155 in serum-derived extracellular vesicles as a potential biomarker for hematologic malignancies - a short report.
Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2017; 40(1):97-103 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The use of extracellular vesicles (EVs) from body fluids as "liquid biopsies" is emerging as a promising approach for the diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutic monitoring of cancer patients. MicroRNA-155 (miR155), a non-coding transcript of the B-cell integration cluster (BIC) gene, has been reported to play a critical role in the pathogenesis of several types of hematologic malignancies (HMs) in which high miR155 levels have been found. At yet, however, the EV miR155 level and its putative clinical relevance in sera of HM patients have not been reported.
METHODS: EVs from sera of representative patients with eight different HMs and healthy subjects (controls) were isolated using differential centrifugation. The identity and quality of the EVs were verified by atomic force and transmission electron microscopy. The EV miR155 levels were measured by quantitative RT-PCR. The sensitivity, specificity and area under the curve (AUC) of differences in EV miR155 levels were determined using ROC curve analyses.
RESULTS: We found that the EV miR155 levels were significantly higher in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM) cases compared to controls. Conversely, we found that the EV miR155 levels were significantly lower in myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and multiple myeloma (MM) cases. No differences were found in follicular lymphoma (FL), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) or Hodgkin's Lymphoma (HL) cases compared to controls. EV miR155 ROC curve analyses revealed significantly different patterns in CLL and AML cases compared to controls, and in AML cases compared to MDS cases (p = 0.004, p = 0.01 and p = 0.04, respectively). In addition, we found that high EV miR155 levels correlated with high white blood cell counts in AML patients.
CONCLUSION: Our data indicate that EV miR155 may serve as an attractive new, non-invasive diagnostic biomarker in human hematologic malignancies.

Cockerell CJ, Tschen J, Evans B, et al.
The influence of a gene expression signature on the diagnosis and recommended treatment of melanocytic tumors by dermatopathologists.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(40):e4887 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
It is well documented that histopathologic examination is sometimes inadequate for accurate and reproducible diagnosis of certain melanocytic neoplasms. Recently, a 23-gene expression signature has been clinically validated as an adjunctive diagnostic test to differentiate benign nevi from malignant melanomas. This study aimed to quantify the impact of this test on diagnosis and treatment recommendations made by dermatopathologists.Diagnostically challenging melanocytic lesions encountered during routine dermatopathology practice were submitted for gene expression testing and received a melanoma diagnostic score (MDS). Submitting dermatopathologists completed a survey documenting pre-test diagnosis, level of diagnostic confidence, and recommendations for treatment. The survey was repeated after receiving the MDS. Changes between the pre- and post-test surveys were analyzed retrospectively.When the MDS was available as part of a comprehensive case evaluation in diagnostically challenging cases, definitive diagnoses were increased by 56.6% for cases that were initially indeterminate and changes in treatment recommendations occurred in 49.1% of cases. Treatment recommendations were changed to align with the test result in 76.6% of diagnostically challenging cases.The MDS impacts diagnosis and treatment recommendations by dermatopathologists confronted with diagnostically challenging melanocytic lesions. Increased data are needed in order to completely understand how use of the MDS will translate from dermatopathology to clinical practice.

Nakajima H
A primer for epigenetics of hematological malignancies.
Rinsho Ketsueki. 2016; 57(10):1835-1844 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epigenetic marks, such as histone modifications or DNA methylation, regulate tissue specific gene expression by affecting the structures and accessibility of chromatin or DNA. Epigenetics, the molecular mechanisms regulating the epigenome, would therefore be critically involved in development and cell differentiation versus proliferation. Histone modifications include methylation, acetylation, phosphorylation and ubiquitination of specific lysine, arginine or serine residues on histone tails, and each modification has its own specific effect on gene expressions. Modification of histones is accomplished by multimeric protein complexes including polycomb and trithorax group proteins. Regulation of DNA methylation is another mechanism of epigenetic regulation, which is achieved by DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) and TET family proteins. Methylation of cysteine residues on DNA generally leads to transcriptional repression, and oxidation of methylated cysteines provides another type of molecular mark on DNA that regulates gene expression. Next generation sequencing of tumor genomes has uncovered recurrent somatic mutations of epigenetic genes such as DNMT3A, TET2, and ASXL1 in hematologic malignancies, showing that epigenetic dysregulation is a critical step leading to the transformation of hematopoietic cells. Rigorous integrated functional analyses of mutated epigenetic genes are currently underway, and are anticipated to lead to the development of novel molecularly targeted therapies for hematologic malignancies.

Wang HY, Rashidi HH
The New Clinicopathologic and Molecular Findings in Myeloid Neoplasms With inv(3)(q21q26)/t(3;3)(q21;q26.2).
Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2016; 140(12):1404-1410 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: - Inv(3)(q21q26)/t(3;3)(q21;q26.2) is the most common form of genetic abnormality of the so-called 3q21q26 syndrome. Myeloid neoplasms with 3q21q26 aberrancies include acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), and blast crisis of myeloproliferative neoplasms. Recent advances on myeloid neoplasms with inv(3)/t(3;3) with regard to clinicopathologic features and novel molecular or genomic findings warrant a comprehensive review on this topic.
OBJECTIVE: - To review the clinicopathologic features and molecular as well as genomic alterations in myeloid neoplasms with inv(3)/t(3;3).
DATA SOURCES: - The data came from published articles in English-language literature.
CONCLUSIONS: - At the clinicopathologic front, recent studies on MDS with inv(3)/t(3;3) have highlighted their overlapping clinicopathologic features with and similar overall survival to that of inv(3)/t(3;3)-harboring AML regardless of the percentage of myeloid blasts. On the molecular front, AML and MDS with inv(3)/t(3;3) exhibit gene mutations, which affect the RAS/receptor tyrosine kinase pathway. Furthermore, functional genomic studies using genomic editing and genome engineering have shown that the reallocation of the GATA2 distal hematopoietic enhancer to the proximity of the promoter of ectopic virus integration site 1 (EVI1) without the formation of a new oncogenic fusion transcript is the molecular mechanism underlying these inv(3)/t(3;3) myeloid neoplasms. Although the AML and MDS with inv(3)/t(3;3) are listed as a separate category of myeloid malignancies in the 2008 World Health Organization classification, the overlapping clinicopathologic features, similar overall survival, and identical patterns at the molecular and genomic levels between AML and MDS patients with inv(3)/t(3;3) may collectively favor a unification of AML and MDS with inv(3)/t(3;3) as AML or myeloid neoplasms with inv(3)/t(3;3) regardless of the blast count.

Wu AY, Yang HC, Lin CM, et al.
The Transcriptome Study of Subtype M2 Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia.
Cell Biochem Biophys. 2015; 72(3):653-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Our objective is to explore the tumor-specific mutated genes by transcriptome sequencing of patients with acute myeloblastic leukemia. 96 patients with subtype M2 acute myeloid leukemia (AML), admitted during January 2007 to January 2012, were selected. Bone marrow and peripheral blood samples from the patients after the first visit and the patients who were improved or alleviated, were subjected to high-throughput sequencing to compare the gene expression. The single nucleotide mutation related to subtype M2 AML was detected. Meanwhile, real-time fluorescent quantitation RT-PCR was used to detect the AML1/ETO fusion gene and its correlation with prognosis after treatment. Among 96 patients, AML1-ETO fusion gene was positive in 52 cases, the positive rate was 54.17 %. The complete relief (CR) rate of AML1-ETO fusion gene positive patients was 84.62 %, and the CR rate of AML1/ETO fusion gene negative patients was 77.27 %; the CR rate of AML1-ETO positive patients was higher than that of patients without the fusion gene, however there was no statistical difference. In the analysis of recurrent gene mutation in AML-M2 patients, IDH2, ASXL1, TET2, JAK1 and JAK2 gene expressions were not significantly different before treatment and after CR, however, IDHI, JAK3, ABL1 and BCR gene expressions were significantly different. In the study of transcriptome in AML-M2 patients, high-throughput sequencing could effectively detect the difference of the gene expression before treatment and after CR. Furthermore, positive expression of AML1-ETO fusion gene had effect on the prognosis of patients.

Okamoto S, Tsujioka T, Suemori S, et al.
Withaferin A suppresses the growth of myelodysplasia and leukemia cell lines by inhibiting cell cycle progression.
Cancer Sci. 2016; 107(9):1302-14 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Treatment outcomes for acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) remain unsatisfactory despite progress in various types of chemotherapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Therefore, there is a need for the development of new treatment options. We investigated the growth-suppressive effects of withaferin A (WA), a natural plant steroidal lactone, on myelodysplasia and leukemia cell lines. WA exhibited growth-suppressive effects on the cell lines, MDS-L, HL-60, THP-1, Jurkat and Ramos, and induction of cell cycle arrest at G2/M phase at relatively low doses. Evaluation by annexin V/PI also confirmed the induction of partial apoptosis. Gene expression profiling and subsequent gene set enrichment analysis revealed increased expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HMOX1). HMOX1 is known to induce autophagy during anticancer chemotherapy and is considered to be involved in the treatment resistance. Our study indicated increased HMOX1 protein levels and simultaneous increases in the autophagy-related protein LC3A/B in MDS-L cells treated with WA, suggesting increased autophagy. Combined use of WA with chloroquine, an autophagy inhibitor, enhanced early apoptosis and growth suppression. Together with the knowledge that WA had no apparent suppressive effect on the growth of human normal bone marrow CD34-positive cells in the short-term culture, this drug may have a potential for a novel therapeutic approach to the treatment of leukemia or MDS.

Mo XD, Qin YZ, Zhang XH, et al.
Minimal residual disease monitoring and preemptive immunotherapy in myelodysplastic syndrome after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
Ann Hematol. 2016; 95(8):1233-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study investigated the efficacy of minimal residual disease (MRD) monitoring and MRD-directed preemptive immunotherapy in high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients who received allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). MRD assessment consisted of Wilms' tumor gene 1 (WT1) detection with PCR and leukemia-associated immunophenotypic pattern examination with multiparameter flow cytometry (FCM). Post-HSCT, 31 patients were positive for WT1, and 8, for FCM; positivity for WT1 (18.6 vs. 6.1 %, P = 0.040) or FCM (62.5 vs. 3.6 %, P < 0.001) indicated a higher 2-year relapse rate. Twenty-one patients met our combined criteria for MRD, and the presence of MRD was associated with a higher 2-year relapse rate (27.3 vs. 4.5 %, P = 0.003). Preferentially expressed antigen of melanoma (PRAME) expression alone was not an appropriate MRD marker; however, it suggested that the MRD-positive patients may fail to respond to preemptive immunotherapy. In patients positive for both PRAME and MRD, the relapse rate was 60 % despite preemptive immunotherapy. Multivariate analysis confirmed the association between the increased relapse rate and positivity for both PRAME and MRD (hazard ratio = 42.8, P = 0.001). MRD monitoring predicted relapse in high-risk MDS post-HSCT patients, and PRAME- and MRD-positive patients did not benefit from preemptive immunotherapy.

Byun JM, Kim YJ, Yoon HJ, et al.
Cytogenetic profiles of 2806 patients with acute myeloid leukemia-a retrospective multicenter nationwide study.
Ann Hematol. 2016; 95(8):1223-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
The cytogenetic and molecular data is recognized as the most valuable prognostic factor in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Our aim was to systemically analyze the cytogenetics of Korean AML patients and to compare the cytogenetic profiles of various races to identify possible geographic heterogeneity. We retrospectively reviewed medical records of 2806 AML patients diagnosed at 11 tertiary teaching hospitals in Korea between January 2007 and December 2011. The most common recurrent chromosomal abnormality was t(8;21) (8.8 %, 238/2717), but t(15;17) showed an almost same number (8.6 %,235/2717). Among de novo AML, the most frequent aberrations were t(15;17), observed in 229 (10.7 %). The most common French-American-British (FAB) classification type was M2 (32.2 %), and recurrent cytogenetic abnormalities correlated with the FAB subtypes. Among 283 secondary AML cases, myelodysplastic syndrome was the most common predisposing factor. About 67.1 % of the secondary AML cases were associated with chromosomal aberrations, and chromosome 7 abnormalities (n = 45, 15.9 %) were most common. The incidence of FLT3 internal tandem duplication mutation was relatively low at 15 %. Our study reports certain similarities and differences in comparison to previous reports. Such discrepancies call for extensive epidemiological studies to clarify the role of genetic as well as geographic heterogeneity in the pathogenesis of AML.

Schäfer V, Ernst J, Rinke J, et al.
EZH2 mutations and promoter hypermethylation in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2016; 142(7):1641-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common malignancy in children and young adults. The polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) has been identified as one of the most frequently mutated epigenetic protein complexes in hematologic cancers. PRC2 acts as an epigenetic repressor through histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3), catalyzed by the histone methyltransferase enhancer of zeste homolog 2 protein (EZH2).
METHODS: To study the prevalence and clinical impact of PRC2 aberrations in an unselected childhood ALL cohort (n = 152), we performed PRC2 mutational screenings by Sanger sequencing and promoter methylation analyses by quantitative pyrosequencing for the three PRC2 core component genes EZH2, suppressor of zeste 12 (SUZ12), and embryonic ectoderm development (EED). Targeted deep next-generation sequencing of 30 frequently mutated genes in leukemia was performed to search for cooperating mutations in patients harboring PRC2 aberrations. Finally, the functional consequence of EZH2 promoter hypermethylation on H3K27me3 was studied by Western blot analyses of primary cells.
RESULTS: Loss-of-function EZH2 mutations were detected in 2/152 (1.3 %) patients with common-ALL and early T-cell precursor (ETP)-ALL, respectively. In one patient, targeted deep sequencing identified cooperating mutations in ASXL1 and TET2. EZH2 promoter hypermethylation was found in one patient with ETP-ALL which led to reduced H3K27me3. In comparison with healthy children, the EZH2 promoter was significantly higher methylated in T-ALL patients. No mutations or promoter methylation changes were identified for SUZ12 or EED genes, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Although PRC2 aberrations seem to be rare in childhood ALL, our findings indicate that EZH2 aberrations might contribute to the disease in specific cases. Hereby, EZH2 promoter hypermethylation might have functionally similar consequences as loss-of-function mutations.

Reinig E, Yang F, Traer E, et al.
Targeted Next-Generation Sequencing in Myelodysplastic Syndrome and Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia Aids Diagnosis in Challenging Cases and Identifies Frequent Spliceosome Mutations in Transformed Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Am J Clin Pathol. 2016; 145(4):497-506 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Optimal integration of next-generation sequencing (NGS) into clinical practice in hematologic malignancies remains unclear. We evaluate the utility of NGS in myeloid malignancies.
METHODS: A 42-gene panel was used to sequence 109 cases of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS, n = 38), chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML, n = 14), myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN, n = 24), and MDS and/or MPN transformed to acute myeloid leukemia (AML, n = 33).
RESULTS: At least one pathogenic mutation was identified in 74% of cases of MDS, 100% of CMMLs, and 96% of MPNs. In contrast, only 47% of cases of MDS (18/38) and 7% (1/14) of CMMLs exhibited abnormal cytogenetics. In diagnostically difficult cases of MDS or CMML with normal cytogenetics, NGS identified a pathogenic mutation and was critical in establishing the correct diagnosis. Spliceosomal genes and epigenetic modifiers were frequently mutated. Spliceosome mutations were also frequently detected in AML arising from MDS, CMML, or MPN (39%) compared with the reported rate in de novo AML (7%-14%).
CONCLUSIONS: In difficult cases of MDS or MPN, NGS facilitates diagnosis by detection of gene mutations to confirm clonality, and AMLs evolving from MDS or MPN carry frequent mutations in spliceosomal genes.

Sloan CE, Luskin MR, Boccuti AM, et al.
A Modified Integrated Genetic Model for Risk Prediction in Younger Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(4):e0153016 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Although cytogenetics-based prognostication systems are well described in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), overall survival (OS) remains highly variable within risk groups. An integrated genetic prognostic (IGP) model using cytogenetics plus mutations in nine genes was recently proposed for patients ≤60 years to improve classification. This model has not been validated in clinical practice.
METHODS AND FINDINGS: We retrospectively studied 197 patients with newly diagnosed de novo AML. We compared OS curves among the mutational profiles defined by the IGP model. The IGP model assigned patients with intermediate cytogenetics as having favorable, intermediate or unfavorable mutational profiles. The IGP model reassigned 50 of 137 patients with intermediate cytogenetics to favorable or unfavorable mutational profiles. Median OS was 2.8 years among 14 patients with intermediate cytogenetics and favorable mutational profiles (mutant NPM1 and mutant IDH1 or IDH2) and 1.3 years among patients with intermediate mutational profiles. Among patients with intermediate cytogenetics labeled as having unfavorable mutational profiles, median OS was 0.8 years among 24 patients with FLT3-ITD positive AML and high-risk genetic changes (trisomy 8, TET2 and/or DNMT3A) and 1.7 years among 12 patients with FLT3-ITD negative AML and high-risk mutations (TET2, ASXL1 and/or PHF6). OS for patients with intermediate cytogenetics and favorable mutational profiles was similar to OS for patients with favorable cytogenetics (p = 0.697) and different from patients with intermediate cytogenetics and intermediate mutational profiles (p = 0.028). OS among patients with FLT3-ITD positive AML and high-risk genetic changes was similar to patients with unfavorable cytogenetics (p = 0.793) and different from patients with intermediate IGP profile (p = 0.022). Patients with FLT3-ITD negative AML and high-risk mutations, defined as 'unfavorable' in the IGP model, had OS similar to patients with intermediate IGP profile (p = 0.919).
CONCLUSIONS: The IGP model was not completely validated in our cohort. However, mutations in six out of the nine genes can be used to characterize survival (NPMI, IDH1, IDH2, FLT3-ITD, TET2, DNMT3A) and allow for more robust prognostication in the patients who are re-categorized by the IGP model. These mutations should be incorporated into clinical testing for younger patients outside of clinical trials, in order to guide therapy.

Chaudhary AK, Chaudhary S, Ghosh K, et al.
Secretion and Expression of Matrix Metalloproteinase-2 and 9 from Bone Marrow Mononuclear Cells in Myelodysplastic Syndrome and Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2016; 17(3):1519-29 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Matrix metalloproteinase -2 (gelatinase-A, Mr 72,000 type IV collagenase, MMP-2) and -9 (gelatinase-B, Mr 92,000 type IV collagenase, MMP-9) are key molecules that play roles in tumor growth, invasion, tissue remodeling, metastasis and stem-cell regulation by digesting extracellular matrix barriers. MMP-2 and -9 are well known to impact on solid cancer susceptibility, whereas, in hematological malignancies, a paucity of data is available to resolve the function of these regulatory molecules in bone marrow mononuclear cells (BM-MNCs) and stromal cells of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
OBJECTIVES: The present study aimed to investigate mRNA expression and gelatinase A and B secretion from BM-MNCs in vitro and genotypic associations of MMP-2 (-1306 C/T; rs243865), MMP-9 (-1562 C/T; rs3918242), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase -1 (TIMP-1) (372T/C; rs4898, Exon 5) and TIMP-2 (-418G/C; rs8179090) in MDS and AML.
RESULTS: The study covered cases of confirmed MDS (n=50), AML (n=32) and healthy controls (n=110). MMP- 9 mRNA expression revealed 2 fold increased expression in MDS-RAEB II and 2.5 fold in AML M-4 (60-70% blasts). Secretion of gelatinase- B also revealed the MMP-9 mRNA expression and ELISA data also supported these data. We noted that those patients having more blast crises presented with more secretion of MMP-9 and its mRNA expression. In contrast MMP-9 (-1562 C/T) showed significant polymorphic associations in MDS (p<0.02) and AML (p<0.02). MMP-9 mRNA expression of C/T and T/T genotypes were 1.5 and 2.5 fold increased in MDS and AML respectively. In AML, MMP-2 C/T and T/T genotypes showed 2.0 fold mRNA expression. Only MMP-9 (-1306 C/T) showed significant 4 fold (p<0.001) increased risk with chemical and x-ray exposed MDS, while tobacco and cigarette smokers have 3 fold (p<0.04) risk in AML.
CONCLUSIONS: In view of our results, MMP-9 revealed synergistic secretion and expression in blast crises of MDS and AML with 'gene' polymorphic effects and is significantly associated with increased risk with tobacco, cigarette and environmental exposure. Release and secretion of these enzymes may influence hematopoietic cell behavior and may be important in the clinical point of view. It may offer valuable tools for diagnosis and prognosis, as well as possible targets for the treatments.

Geng S, Yao H, Weng J, et al.
Effects of the combination of decitabine and homoharringtonine in SKM-1 and Kg-1a cells.
Leuk Res. 2016; 44:17-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
The methylation inhibitor decitabine (DAC) has great therapeutic value for myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, DAC monotherapy is associated with relatively low rates of overall response and complete remission. Previous studies have shown promising results for combination treatment regimens including DAC. Homoharringtonine (HHT), an alkaloid from Chinese natural plants and Cephalotaxus, has demonstrated potential for leukemia treatment. Our studies have suggested that the combination of DAC and HHT has synergistic effects for inhibiting the viability of SKM-1 and Kg-1a cells. This combination leads to enhanced inhibition of colony formation and apoptosis induction compared with DAC alone in SKM-1 but not Kg-1a cells. Only high-dose DAC and HHT significantly up-regulate caspase-3 and caspase-9 and inhibit BCL-XL in the SKM-1 cell line. The combined effects of DAC plus HHT on apoptosis may not only depend on regulation of the apoptosis-related genes we examined but others as well. HHT had no demethylation effects, and HHT in combination with DAC had no enhanced effects on hypomethylation and DNMT1, DNMT3A and DNMT3B mRNA expression in SKM-1 cells. Overall, these results suggest that DAC used in combination with HHT may have clinical potential for MDS treatment.

Scopim-Ribeiro R, Machado-Neto JA, de Melo Campos P, et al.
Low Ten-eleven-translocation 2 (TET2) transcript level is independent of TET2 mutation in patients with myeloid neoplasms.
Diagn Pathol. 2016; 11:28 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: New sequencing technologies have enabled the identification of mutations in Ten-eleven-translocation 2 (TET2), an enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of 5-methylcytosine into 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) in myeloid neoplasms. We have recently identified reduced TET2 mRNA expression in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which is associated with a poor overall survival in MDS. We herein aimed to investigate TET2 mutations and their impact on TET2 expression in a cohort of patients with myeloid neoplasms, including MDS and AML patients.
FINDINGS: TET2 mutations were observed in 8 out of 19 patients (42 %) with myeloid neoplasms. The TET2 expression profile was similar between in wild type and in TET2 mutated patients.
CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that TET2 expression is reduced in MDS/AML patients, independently of mutational status.

Benetatos L, Vartholomatos G
On the potential role of DNMT1 in acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes: not another mutated epigenetic driver.
Ann Hematol. 2016; 95(10):1571-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
DNA methylation is the most common epigenetic modification in the mammalian genome. DNA methylation is governed by the DNA methyltransferases mainly DNMT1, DNMT3A, and DNMT3B. DNMT1 methylates hemimethylated DNA ensuring accurate DNA methylation maintenance. DNMT1 is involved in the proper differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) through the interaction with effector molecules. DNMT1 is deregulated in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) as early as the leukemic stem cell stage. Through the interaction with fundamental transcription factors, non-coding RNAs, fusion oncogenes and by modulating core members of signaling pathways, it can affect leukemic cells biology. DNMT1 action might be also catalytic-independent highlighting a methylation-independent mode of action. In this review, we have gathered some current facts of DNMT1 role in AML and MDS and we also propose some perspectives for future studies.

Nardi V, Hasserjian RP
Genetic Testing in Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Myelodysplastic Syndromes.
Surg Pathol Clin. 2016; 9(1):143-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cytogenetic analysis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is essential for disease diagnosis, classification, prognostic stratification, and treatment guidance. Molecular genetic analysis of CEBPA, NPM1, and FLT3 is already standard of care in patients with AML, and mutations in several additional genes are assuming increasing importance. Mutational analysis of certain genes, such as SF3B1, is also becoming an important tool to distinguish subsets of MDS that have different biologic behaviors. It is still uncertain how to optimally combine karyotype with mutation data in diagnosis and risk-stratification of AML and MDS, particularly in cases with multiple mutations and/or several mutationally distinct subclones.

Taggart J, Ho TC, Amin E, et al.
MSI2 is required for maintaining activated myelodysplastic syndrome stem cells.
Nat Commun. 2016; 7:10739 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are driven by complex genetic and epigenetic alterations. The MSI2 RNA-binding protein has been demonstrated to have a role in acute myeloid leukaemia and stem cell function, but its role in MDS is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that elevated MSI2 expression correlates with poor survival in MDS. Conditional deletion of Msi2 in a mouse model of MDS results in a rapid loss of MDS haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) and reverses the clinical features of MDS. Inversely, inducible overexpression of MSI2 drives myeloid disease progression. The MDS HSPCs remain dependent on MSI2 expression after disease initiation. Furthermore, MSI2 expression expands and maintains a more activated (G1) MDS HSPC. Gene expression profiling of HSPCs from the MSI2 MDS mice identifies a signature that correlates with poor survival in MDS patients. Overall, we identify a role for MSI2 in MDS representing a therapeutic target in this disease.

Anguita E, Gupta R, Olariu V, et al.
A somatic mutation of GFI1B identified in leukemia alters cell fate via a SPI1 (PU.1) centered genetic regulatory network.
Dev Biol. 2016; 411(2):277-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
We identify a mutation (D262N) in the erythroid-affiliated transcriptional repressor GFI1B, in an acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patient with antecedent myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). The GFI1B-D262N mutant functionally antagonizes the transcriptional activity of wild-type GFI1B. GFI1B-D262N promoted myelomonocytic versus erythroid output from primary human hematopoietic precursors and enhanced cell survival of both normal and MDS derived precursors. Re-analysis of AML transcriptome data identifies a distinct group of patients in whom expression of wild-type GFI1B and SPI1 (PU.1) have an inverse pattern. In delineating this GFI1B-SPI1 relationship we show that (i) SPI1 is a direct target of GFI1B, (ii) expression of GFI1B-D262N produces elevated expression of SPI1, and (iii) SPI1-knockdown restores balanced lineage output from GFI1B-D262N-expressing precursors. These results table the SPI1-GFI1B transcriptional network as an important regulatory axis in AML as well as in the development of erythroid versus myelomonocytic cell fate.

Patnaik MM, Tefferi A
Cytogenetic and molecular abnormalities in chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.
Blood Cancer J. 2016; 6:e393 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) is a clonal stem cell disorder associated with peripheral blood monocytosis and an inherent tendency to transform to acute myeloid leukemia. CMML has overlapping features of myelodysplastic syndromes and myeloproliferative neoplasms. Clonal cytogenetic changes are seen in ~30%, whereas gene mutations are seen in >90% of patients. Common cytogenetic abnormalities include; trisomy 8, -Y, -7/del(7q), trisomy 21 and del(20q), with the Mayo-French risk stratification effectively risk stratifying patients based on cytogenetic abnormalities. Gene mutations frequently involve epigenetic regulators (TET2 ~60%), modulators of chromatin (ASXL1 ~40%), spliceosome components (SRSF2 ~50%), transcription factors (RUNX1 ~15%) and signal pathways (RAS ~30%, CBL ~15%). Of these, thus far, only nonsense and frameshift ASXL1 mutations have been shown to negatively impact overall survival. This has resulted in the development of contemporary, molecularly integrated (inclusive of ASXL1 mutations) CMML prognostic models, including Molecular Mayo Model and the Groupe Français des Myélodysplasies model. Better understanding of the prevalent genetic and epigenetic dysregulation has resulted in emerging targeted treatment options for some patients. The development of an integrated (cytogenetic and molecular) prognostic model along with CMML-specific response assessment criteria are much needed future goals.

Patnaik MM, Tefferi A
Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia: Focus on Clinical Practice.
Mayo Clin Proc. 2016; 91(2):259-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) is a clonal stem cell disorder with features that overlap those of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs) and myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs). Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia often results in peripheral blood monocytosis and has an inherent tendency to transform to acute myeloid leukemia. Clonal cytogenetic changes are seen in approximately 30% of patients, and molecular abnormalities are seen in more than 90%. Gene mutations involving TET2 (∼60%), SRSF2 (∼50%), ASXL1 (∼40%), and RAS (∼30%) are frequent, with nonsense and frameshift ASXL1 mutations being the only mutations identified thus far to have an independent negative prognostic effect on overall survival. Contemporary molecularly integrated prognostic models (inclusive of ASXL1 mutations) include the Molecular Mayo Model and the Groupe Français des Myélodysplasies model. Given the lack of formal treatment and response criteria, management of CMML is often extrapolated from MDS and MPN, with allogeneic stem cell transplant being the only curative option. Hydroxyurea and other cytoreductive agents have been used to control MPN-like features, while epigenetic modifiers such as hypomethylating agents have been used for MDS-like features. Given the relatively poor response to these agents and the inherent risks associated with hematopoietic stem cell transplant, newer drugs exploiting molecular and epigenetic abnormalities in CMML are being developed. The creation of CMML-specific response criteria is a much needed step in order to improve clinical outcomes.

Guerenne L, Beurlet S, Said M, et al.
GEP analysis validates high risk MDS and acute myeloid leukemia post MDS mice models and highlights novel dysregulated pathways.
J Hematol Oncol. 2016; 9:5 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In spite of the recent discovery of genetic mutations in most myelodysplasic (MDS) patients, the pathophysiology of these disorders still remains poorly understood, and only few in vivo models are available to help unravel the disease.
METHODS: We performed global specific gene expression profiling and functional pathway analysis in purified Sca1+ cells of two MDS transgenic mouse models that mimic human high-risk MDS (HR-MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) post MDS, with NRASD12 and BCL2 transgenes under the control of different promoters MRP8NRASD12/tethBCL-2 or MRP8[NRASD12/hBCL-2], respectively.
RESULTS: Analysis of dysregulated genes that were unique to the diseased HR-MDS and AML post MDS mice and not their founder mice pointed first to pathways that had previously been reported in MDS patients, including DNA replication/damage/repair, cell cycle, apoptosis, immune responses, and canonical Wnt pathways, further validating these models at the gene expression level. Interestingly, pathways not previously reported in MDS were discovered. These included dysregulated genes of noncanonical Wnt pathways and energy and lipid metabolisms. These dysregulated genes were not only confirmed in a different independent set of BM and spleen Sca1+ cells from the MDS mice but also in MDS CD34+ BM patient samples.
CONCLUSIONS: These two MDS models may thus provide useful preclinical models to target pathways previously identified in MDS patients and to unravel novel pathways highlighted by this study.

Hou HA, Liu CY, Kuo YY, et al.
Splicing factor mutations predict poor prognosis in patients with de novo acute myeloid leukemia.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(8):9084-101 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mutations in splicing factor (SF) genes are frequently detected in myelodysplastic syndrome, but the prognostic relevance of these genes mutations in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remains unclear. In this study, we investigated mutations of three SF genes, SF3B1, U2AF1 and SRSF2, by Sanger sequencing in 500 patients with de novo AML and analysed their clinical relevance. SF mutations were identified in 10.8% of total cohort and 13.2% of those with intermediate-risk cytogenetics. SF mutations were closely associated with RUNX1, ASXL1, IDH2 and TET2 mutations. SF-mutated AML patients had a significantly lower complete remission rate and shorter disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) than those without the mutation. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that SFmutation was an independent poor prognostic factor for DFS and OS. A scoring system incorporating SF mutation and ten other prognostic factors was proved very useful to risk-stratify AML patients. Sequential study of paired samples showed that SF mutations were stable during AML evolution. In conclusion, SF mutations are associated with distinct clinic-biological features and poor prognosis in de novo AML patients and are rather stable during disease progression. These mutations may be potential targets for novel treatment and biomarkers for disease monitoring in AML.

Xu F, Liu L, Chang CK, et al.
Genomic loss of EZH2 leads to epigenetic modifications and overexpression of the HOX gene clusters in myelodysplastic syndrome.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(7):8119-30 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The role of EZH2 in cancer is complex and may vary depending on cancer type or stage. We examined the effect of altered EZH2 levels on H3K27 methylation, HOX gene expression, and malignant phenotype in myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) cell lines and an in vivo xenograft model. We also studied links between EZH2 expression and prognosis in MDS patients. Patients with high-grade MDS exhibited lower levels of EZH2 expression than those with low-grade MDS. Low EZH2 expression was associated with high percentages of blasts, shorter survival, and increased transformation of MDS into acute myeloid leukemia (AML). MDS patients frequently had reductions in EZH2 copy number. EZH2 knockdown increased tumor growth capacity and reduced H3K27me3 levels in both MDS-derived leukemia cells and in a xenograft model. H3K27me3 levels were reduced and HOX gene cluster expression was increased in MDS patients. EZH2 knockdown also increased HOX gene cluster expression by reducing H3K27me3, and H3K27 demethylating agents increased HOX gene cluster expression in MDS-derived cell lines. These findings suggest genomic loss of EZH2 contributes to overexpression of the HOX gene clusters in MDS through epigenetic modifications.

Hamilton BK, Visconte V, Jia X, et al.
Impact of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant in patients with myeloid neoplasms carrying spliceosomal mutations.
Am J Hematol. 2016; 91(4):406-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Molecular predictors of outcome are increasingly important in determining optimal therapy for myeloid neoplasms. Mutations in the spliceosomal genes (U2AF1 and SRSF2) predict for poor outcomes in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and related diseases. We investigated the effect of hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) on the negative prognostic impact of U2AF1 and SRSF2 mutations. In total, 122 patients with MDS (30%), acute myeloid leukemia (51%), myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) (11%), and MDS/MPN (8%) receiving a HCT from 2003 to 2012 were evaluated for mutations in U2AF1 and SRSF2 by direct sequencing. Median time of follow up was 24 months (range 0.46-110). SRSF2 mutations were detected in 11 (10%) patients and U2AF1 in 3 (3%) patients. There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics between mutated and wild-type (WT) patients. Patients carrying SRSF2 and U2AF1 mutations had similar overall survival (P = 0.84), relapse mortality (P = 0.50), and non-relapse mortality (P = 0.72) compared to WT patients. However, taking into account disease status and cytogenetics in a subset of AML patients, SRSF2 and U2AF1 mutations were associated with worse survival (HR 3.71, P = 0.035).

Klimek VM, Tray NJ
Therapy-related myeloid neoplasms: what's in a name?
Curr Opin Hematol. 2016; 23(2):161-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Therapy-related myeloid neoplasms (tMN) are increasingly recognized and studied diseases which have traditionally been defined clinically. With advances in methods used to study the genetics of aging and myeloid disease biology, novel insights are emerging which are expected to improve our understanding of the genetics and pathogenesis of tMN.
RECENT FINDINGS: Clinical outcomes in tMN and de novo MDS/AML appear to be largely determined by genetics, and data are emerging to show how DNA mutations may enhance tMN risk stratification. The discovery of skewed hematopoieses and mutations in healthy older adults suggests an alternate predisposition mechanism for the genesis of tMN. Patients with tMN do respond to standard therapy and can benefit from allogeneic transplant in a manner similar to their genetically matched de novo counterpart.
SUMMARY: De novo MDS/AML and tMN have shared genetic features, and tMN clinical outcomes may depend more on the genetics at presentation than the clinical history of an antecedent malignancy. Acquired somatic mutations in genes such as TP53 and myeloid skewing with associated mutations in cancer-free older adults may predispose such individuals to tMN under the influence of myelosuppressive therapy, and this may be a route to the development of a subset of tMN.

Milunović V, Mandac Rogulj I, Planinc-Peraica A, et al.
The role of microRNA in myelodysplastic syndromes: beyond DNA methylation and histone modification.
Eur J Haematol. 2016; 96(6):553-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are heterogeneous group of hematologic disorders of mostly elderly and based on distinct clinical phenotypes. Current paradigm of their pathogenesis relies on somatic gene mutations combined with the predisposing defective osteohematopoietic niche, but due to the breakout in epigenetic research scientific focus has steered toward two most common epigenetic modifications: methylation mechanisms and histone modification. At the same time, relatively few studies have been undertaken regarding the third epigenetic pathway - microRNAs - in MDS. The main aim of this review is to provide the basics of microRNA biology and function in oncogenesis, showing the complexity of mechanisms behind this single-stranded 22 nucleotides long RNA molecule, with further focus on its implication in MDS pathology and clinical context. By extensive literature search, we have shown enough evidence for their deregulation in MDS. However, few studies have addressed the issue on pathogenic events in MDS and its association with specific microRNAs. Preliminary research in clinical setting has shown the possible utility of microRNAs in terms of prognosis and therapy, although we are only beginning to understand various implications of microRNAs in MDS and further extensive research is warranted to answer multiple questions arising from interconnection of this epigenetic mechanism in MDS.

Shaffer BC, Le Luduec JB, Forlenza C, et al.
Phase II Study of Haploidentical Natural Killer Cell Infusion for Treatment of Relapsed or Persistent Myeloid Malignancies Following Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation.
Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2016; 22(4):705-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
We conducted a phase 2 study to determine the efficacy of HLA-haploidentical related donor natural killer (NK) cells after cyclophosphamide-based lymphodepletion in patients with relapsed or progressive acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) following allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Eight patients (2 with MDS and 6 with AML) were treated with cyclophosphamide 50 mg/kg on day -3 and day -2 before infusion of NK cells isolated from a haploidentical related donor. One patient also received fludarabine 25 mg/m2/day for 4 days. Six doses of 1 million units of interleukin-2 (IL-2) were administered on alternating days beginning on day -1. The median number of NK cells infused was 10.6 × 10(6)/kg (range, 4.3 to 22.4 × 10(6)/kg), and the median number of CD3 cells infused was 2.1 × 10(3)/kg (range, 1.9 to 40 × 10(3)/kg). NK infusions were well tolerated, with a median time to neutrophil recovery of 19 days (range, 7 days to not achieved) and no incidence of graft-versus-host disease after NK infusion. One patient with AML and 1 patient with MDS achieved a complete response, but relapsed at 1.7 and 1.8 months, respectively. One patient with MDS experienced resolution of dysplastic features but persistence of clonal karyotype abnormalities; this patient was stable at 65 months after NK cell therapy. The median duration of survival was 12.9 months (range, 0.8 to 65.3 months). Chimerism analysis of CD3(-)/CD56(+) peripheral blood cells did not detect any circulating haploidentical NK cells after infusion. NK phenotyping was performed in 7 patients during and after IL-2 infusion. We found a slight trend toward greater expression of KIR2DL2/2DL3/2DS2 (5% versus 28%; P = .03) at 14 days in patients who survived longer than 6 months from NK cell infusion (n = 4) compared with those who died within 6 months of NK cell therapy (n = 3). In summary, our data support the safety of haploidentical NK cell infusion after allogeneic HCT.

Patnaik MM, Lasho TL, Vijayvargiya P, et al.
Prognostic interaction between ASXL1 and TET2 mutations in chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.
Blood Cancer J. 2016; 6:e385 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Mutations involving epigenetic regulators (TET2~60% and ASXL1~40%) and splicing components (SRSF2~50%) are frequent in chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML). On a 27-gene targeted capture panel performed on 175 CMML patients (66% males, median age 70 years), common mutations included: TET2 46%, ASXL1 47%, SRSF2 45% and SETBP1 19%. A total of 172 (98%) patients had at least one mutation, 21 (12%) had 2, 24 (14%) had 3 and 30 (17%) had >3 mutations. In a univariate analysis, the presence of ASXL1 mutations (P=0.02) and the absence of TET2 mutations (P=0.03), adversely impacted survival; while the number of concurrent mutations had no impact (P=0.3). In a multivariable analysis that included hemoglobin, platelet count, absolute monocyte count and circulating immature myeloid cells (Mayo model), the presence of ASXL1 mutations (P=0.01) and absence of TET2 mutations (P=0.003) retained prognostic significance. Patients were stratified into four categories: ASXL1wt/TET2wt (n=56), ASXL1mut/TET2wt (n=31), ASXL1mut/TET2mut (n=50) and ASXL1wt/TET2mut (n=38). Survival data demonstrated a significant difference in favor of ASXL1wt/TET2mut (38 months; P=0.016), compared with those with ASXL1wt/TET2wt (19 months), ASXL1mut/TET2wt (21 months) and ASXL1mut/TET2mut (16 months) (P=0.3). We confirm the negative prognostic impact imparted by ASXL1 mutations and suggest a favorable impact from TET2 mutations in the absence of ASXL1 mutations.

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