Favorable prognostic impact of NPM1 gene mutations in childhood acute myeloid leukemia, with emphasis on cytogenetically normal AML
Nucleophosmin (NPM1) mutations occur frequently in adult cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia (CN-AML) and confer favorable outcome. We investigated the frequency and prognostic significance of NPM1 mutations in childhood AML (n=298), specifically focusing on the CN-AML subgroup (n=100). Mutations were found in 8.4%, and clustered significantly in the CN-AML subgroup (22%). No mutations were found in patients below the age of 3 years; in CN-AML, there was an increasing incidence above this age. In the overall group, NPM1 mutations conferred an independent favorable prognostic impact on event-free survival (5-year pEFS 66 vs 39%; P=0.02), which did not translate into a significantly better overall survival (5-year pOS 68 vs 56%; P=0.30). However, when the favorable cytogenetic subgroups [inv(16) and t(8;21)] were excluded from the NPM1 wild-type group, the difference in pOS was borderline statistically significant (68 vs 45%; P=0.07). In the CN-AML cohort, NPM1 mutations were an independent prognostic factor on pEFS (80 vs 39%; P=0.01), and pOS (85 vs 60%; P=0.06), which was not influenced by FLT3/ITD. However, in NPM1 wild-type CN-AML, FLT3/ITD-positive patients had a significantly worse outcome (pEFS 48 vs 18%; P<0.001). We conclude that NPM1 mutations confer a favorable prognosis in childhood AML and in CN-AML in particular.