Publications by authors named "Daniel A Arber"

147 Publications

Myeloid/lymphoid neoplasms with FLT3 rearrangement.

Mod Pathol 2021 May 14. Epub 2021 May 14.

Department of Hematopathology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Myeloid/lymphoid neoplasms (M/LN) with 13q12/FLT3 rearrangement have been suggested as candidates for possible inclusion in the World Health Organization classification group of M/LN with eosinophilia (M/LN-eo). We report 12 patients with confirmed FLT3 rearrangement, six with t(12;13)/ETV6-FLT3; one with ins(13;22)/BCR-FLT3; and five with an unconfirmed partner gene located on chromosome bands 2p16, 3q27, 5q15, 5q35, and 7q36. Disease presentations were heterogeneous, including lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma, myeloid sarcoma, chronic eosinophilic leukemia, chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, and myelodysplastic syndrome. However, some common features were observed, such as extramedullary involvement (n = 7, 58%), associated eosinophilia in blood, bone marrow, or tissue (n = 8, 67%), multilineage involvement, either as biphasic myeloid/lymphoid neoplasms (n = 2) or mixed phenotype acute leukemia (n = 2). Mutations were detected in 4/8 (50%) patients by next-generation sequencing. None (0/10) had FLT3 or KIT mutations. Eleven patients received disease-based chemotherapy or hypomethylating agents, three received FLT3 inhibitors, and five patients proceeded to hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Together with a review of 16 cases published in the literature, it is apparent that M/LNs with FLT3 rearrangement show disease features reminiscent of members in the category of M/LN-eo with PDGFRA, PDGFRB, FGFR1, and PCM1/JAK2 rearrangement, characterized by a specific gene rearrangement, frequent eosinophilia, multi-lineage involvement and therapeutic benefit from kinase inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41379-021-00817-7DOI Listing
May 2021

Erythroleukemia: an Update.

Curr Oncol Rep 2021 Apr 20;23(6):69. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Department of Pathology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

Purpose Of The Review: Acute erythroleukemia (AEL) is a rare form of acute myeloid leukemia recognized by erythroblastic proliferation. Many controversies remain around diagnosis influencing prognostic and therapeutic implications relating to this unique leukemia subset.

Recent Findings: The 2016 WHO classification includes more clear and restrictive diagnostic criteria for AEL. Primary acute erythroid leukemia is associated with complex and high-risk karyotypes including chromosomes 5q and 7q abnormalities. Mutational data shows that AEL is characterized by far lower NPM1 and FLT3-ITD mutation rates and higher mutational rates in TP53 compared with other AML subtypes. Hypomethylating agents have shown therapeutic value in AEL. In this article, we discuss the evolving diagnostic concepts of erythroleukemia, genomics, clinical outcome, and promising therapeutic targets through an appraisal of the current literature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11912-021-01060-8DOI Listing
April 2021

Clinical, immunophenotypic and genomic findings of NK lymphoblastic leukemia: a study from the Bone Marrow Pathology Group.

Mod Pathol 2021 Jul 1;34(7):1358-1366. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Natural killer (NK) cells are lymphocytes of the native immune system that play a pivotal role in host defense and immune surveillance. While the conceptual view of NK-neoplasms is evolving, little is known about the rare NK lymphoblastic leukemia (NK-LL), which remains as a provisional entity in the 2016 WHO Classification. The goal of this study is to characterize NK-LL cases and compare with other CD56 co-expressing acute leukemias. We identified 105 cases, diagnosed as NK-LL (6), CD56+ acute undifferentiated leukemia (AUL) (6), CD56+ T-lymphoblastic leukemia (T-LL) (51), and CD56+ acute myeloid leukemia (AML) (42). Compared to AUL patients, NK-LL patients were significantly younger (p = 0.021) and presented with higher white blood cell (WBC) (p = 0.037) and platelet counts (p = 0.041). Flow cytometry showed more frequent expression of cytoplasmic CD3 (cCD3, p = 0.064) and CD33, (p = 0.065), while HLA-DR was significantly absent from NK-LL (p = 0.035) compared to AUL. Compared to T-ALL, NK-LL cases showed less frequent cCD3 (p = 0.002), CD4 (p = 0.051), and CD10 expression (p = 0.06). The frequency of abnormal karyotypes was similar between NK-LL, AUL, and T-ALL. The mutational profile differed in four leukemia groups, with a significance enrichment of NOTCH1 (p = 0.002), ETV6 (p = 0.002) and JAK3 (p = 0.02) mutations in NK-LL as compared to AML. As compared to T-ALL, NK-LL cases showed a higher number of total mutations (p = 0.04) and significantly more frequent ETV6 mutations (p = 0.004). Clinical outcome data showed differences in overall survival between all four groups (p = 0.0175), but no difference in event free survival (p = 0.246). In this largest study to date, we find that that NK-LL shows clinical presentation, immunophenotypic and molecular characteristics distinct from AUL, T-ALL, and AML. Our findings suggest NK-LL is a distinct acute leukemia entity and should be considered in the clinical diagnosis of acute leukemias of ambiguous lineage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41379-021-00739-4DOI Listing
July 2021

The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) clinical practice guideline on immunotherapy for the treatment of acute leukemia.

J Immunother Cancer 2020 10;8(2)

Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York, USA.

Acute leukemia is a constellation of rapidly progressing diseases that affect a wide range of patients regardless of age or gender. Traditional treatment options for patients with acute leukemia include chemotherapy and hematopoietic cell transplantation. The advent of cancer immunotherapy has had a significant impact on acute leukemia treatment. Novel immunotherapeutic agents including antibody-drug conjugates, bispecific T cell engagers, and chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapies have efficacy and have recently been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of patients with acute leukemia. The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) convened a panel of experts to develop a clinical practice guideline composed of consensus recommendations on immunotherapy for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-000810DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7574947PMC
October 2020

Diagnosis and Treatment of Patients With Acute Myeloid Leukemia With Myelodysplasia-Related Changes (AML-MRC).

Am J Clin Pathol 2020 11;154(6):731-741

Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC.

Objectives: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with myelodysplasia-related changes (AML-MRC) represents a high-risk and somewhat diverse subtype of AML, and substantial confusion exists about the pathologic evaluation needed for diagnosis, which can include the patient's clinical history, cytogenetic analysis, mutational analysis, and/or morphologic evaluation. Treatment decisions based on incomplete or untimely pathology reports may result in the suboptimal treatment of patients with AML-MRC.

Methods: Using a PubMed search, diagnosis of and treatment options for AML-MRC were investigated.

Results: This article reviews the current diagnostic criteria for AML-MRC, provides guidance on assessments necessary for an AML-MRC diagnosis, summarizes clinical and prognostic features of AML-MRC, and discusses potential therapies for patients with AML-MRC. In addition to conventional chemotherapy, treatment options include CPX-351, a liposomal encapsulation of daunorubicin/cytarabine approved for treatment of adults with AML-MRC; targeted agents for patients with certain mutations/disease characteristics; and lower-intensity therapies for less fit patients.

Conclusions: Given the evolving and complex treatment landscape and the high-risk nature of the AML-MRC population, a clear understanding of the pathology information necessary for AML-MRC diagnosis has become increasingly important to help guide treatment decisions and thereby improve patient outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcp/aqaa107DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7610263PMC
November 2020

Pathology of the spleen: INTRODUCTION.

Semin Diagn Pathol 2021 Mar 25;38(2):111. Epub 2020 Aug 25.

Department of Pathology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.semdp.2020.08.001DOI Listing
March 2021

Chronic myeloid neoplasms harboring concomitant mutations in myeloproliferative neoplasm driver genes (JAK2/MPL/CALR) and SF3B1.

Mod Pathol 2021 01 21;34(1):20-31. Epub 2020 Jul 21.

Department of Hematopathology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

JAK2, CALR, and MPL are myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN)-driver mutations, whereas SF3B1 is strongly associated with ring sideroblasts (RS) in myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Concomitant mutations of SF3B1 and MPN-driver mutations out of the context of MDS/MPN with RS and thrombocytosis (MDS/MPN-RS-T) are not well-studied. From the cases (<5% blasts) tested by NGS panels interrogating at least 42 myeloid neoplasm-related genes, we identified 18 MDS/MPN-RS-T, 42 MPN, 10 MDS, and 6 MDS/MPN-U cases with an SF3B1 and an MPN-driver mutation. Using a 10% VAF difference to define "SF3B1-dominant," "MPN-mutation dominant," and "no dominance," the majority of MDS/MPN-RS-T clustered in "SF3B1-dominant" and "no dominance" regions. Aside from parameters as thrombocytosis and ≥15% RS required for RS-T, MDS also differed in frequent neutropenia, multilineage dysplasia, and notably more cases with <10% VAF of MPN-driver mutations (60%, p = 0.0346); MPN differed in more frequent splenomegaly, myelofibrosis, and higher VAF of "MPN-driver mutations." "Gray zone" cases with features overlapping MDS/MPN-RS-T were observed in over one-thirds of non-RS-T cases. This study shows that concomitant SF3B1 and MPN-driver mutations can be observed in MDS, MPN, and MDS/MPN-U, each showing overlapping but also distinctively different clinicopathological features. Clonal hierarchy, cytogenetic abnormalities, and additional somatic mutations may in part contribute to different disease phenotypes, which may help in the classification of "gray zone" cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41379-020-0624-yDOI Listing
January 2021

Vascular neoplasms and non-neoplastic vascular lesions of the spleen.

Semin Diagn Pathol 2021 Mar 8;38(2):154-158. Epub 2020 Jul 8.

Department of Pathology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA. Electronic address:

Vascular neoplasms are among the most common conditions affecting the spleen. The majority of these are idiopathic, benign in nature and asymptomatic and therefore treated with a conservative management. Only rare cases cause splenomegaly and/or chronic consumption coagulopathies, thus requiring splenectomy. Among these, the most common is splenic hemangioma, followed by littoral cell angioma and lymphangioma. Peliosis is a peculiar tumor-like non-neoplastic vascular lesion that diffusely affects the spleen and frequently presents with concomitant hepatic involvement. As a distinctive feature, peliosis can occur as a secondary manifestation of infections, malignancies and in individuals using certain drugs. On the opposite spectrum of clinical behavior lies splenic angiosarcoma, a vascular endothelial malignancy with aggressive presentation and poor prognosis. In some cases the endothelial nature of this neoplasm may not be evident on routine histologic examination and immunohistochemistry is used to disclose such phenotype. The term hemangioendothelioma is rarely used to describe borderline vascular neoplasms which appear more aggressive than conventional hemangiomas, but that do not entirely fulfill the diagnostic criteria for angiosarcoma. Some of these neoplasms coexpress endothelial and histiocytic markers and therefore have been proposed as the borderline counterpart of littoral cell angioma. The existence of hemangioendothelioma as a diagnostic entity per se is debated and this diagnosis should be rendered with caution. The current review aims at highlighting the main histologic features of vascular neoplasms and non-neoplastic vascular lesions of the spleen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.semdp.2020.07.001DOI Listing
March 2021

Non-hematopoietic neoplastic and pseudoneoplastic lesions of the spleen.

Semin Diagn Pathol 2021 Mar 24;38(2):159-164. Epub 2020 Jun 24.

Department of Pathology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL. USA. Electronic address:

The spleen can be affected by several different non-hematopoietic neoplasms as well as pseudoneoplastic lesions. Generally such conditions affect asymptomatic adults and are detected only as incidental findings; in a minority of the cases vague, unspecific symptoms including abdominal discomfort can occur. Most of these conditions present as a "solitary splenic mass" and have been traditionally diagnosed on partial or total splenectomy, which also represents the most common therapeutic strategy; however, the increasing use of splenic needle biopsies for such lesions creates new diagnostic challenges for pathologists. Splenic cysts (including true cysts, pseudocysts and parasitic cysts) and hamartomas are common benign proliferations which generally pose little problems in their identification. More challenging is the diagnostic workup of "spindle cell and inflammatory rich" lesions of the spleen, whose correct identification is crucial. Indeed, some of these are considered reactive (such as sclerosing angiomatoid nodular transformation of the spleen), whilst others are clonal in nature, the main example being represented by the so called "inflammatory pseudotumour- like follicular/fibroblastic dendritic cell sarcoma". A further degree of complexity is represented by the detection of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which is invariably present in inflammatory pseudotumour- like follicular/fibroblastic dendritic cell sarcoma, but also in other proliferations including the rare "EBV- related smooth muscle tumor of the spleen". Finally, the spleen can host rare dendritic/reticulum cell sarcomas and metastases from extrasplenic malignancies. The current review aims at highlighting the main histologic features of non-hematopoietic and non-vascular neoplasms as well as pseudoneoplastic lesions of the spleen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.semdp.2020.06.004DOI Listing
March 2021

Aggressive B-cell lymphomas with a primary bone marrow presentation.

Histopathology 2020 Sep 14;77(3):369-379. Epub 2020 Jul 14.

Institute of Pathology and Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Tübingen University Hospital, Tübingen, Germany.

Aggressive B-cell lymphomas present as a heterogeneous spectrum of disease. A primary diagnosis in the bone marrow (BM) may be challenging in terms of diagnostic classification and clinical handling, owing to limited architectural information. Aggressive B-cell lymphomas can be subdivided into entities that typically present primarily in the BM, and cases with BM involvement in which the bulk of disease is present in other organs. One main topic at the 2018 BM workshop of the European Association of Haematopathology/Society of Hematopathology was therefore aggressive B-cell lymphomas with a primary BM presentation. The spectrum of cases submitted to this topic gave a good overview of commonly encountered problems, as well as unusual manifestations, and highlighted areas of imprecise disease definitions and diagnostic grey zones. The categories submitted to the workshop included cases of Burkitt lymphoma (BL) with unusual features, high-grade B-cell lymphomas (HG-BCLs) with and without so-called double/triple-hit, and diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCLs) with a primary BM presentation. Areas of difficulties included the morphological boundaries of HG-BCL not otherwise specified, cases with MYC and bcl-2 or bcl-6 translocations and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) expression, which were categorised as B-cell lymphoblastic leukaemia/lymphoma if most cells showed TdT positivity, and the clinicopathological overlap between intravascular large B-cell lymphoma, CD5-positive DLBCL, and DLBCL with primary presentations in the BM, spleen, and liver. This review summarises our understanding of the main aggressive B-cell lymphoma categories with a common primary BM presentation and potential problem areas, and makes suggestions for the immunophenotypic and genetic work-up, illustrated by the interesting and challenging cases submitted to the workshop.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/his.14124DOI Listing
September 2020

Concordance among hematopathologists in classifying blasts plus promonocytes: A bone marrow pathology group study.

Int J Lab Hematol 2020 Aug 16;42(4):418-422. Epub 2020 Apr 16.

Department of Hematopathology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Enumeration of blasts and promonocytes is essential for World Health Organization (WHO) classification of myelomonocytic neoplasms. The accuracy of distinguishing blasts, promonocytes and monocytes, including normal vs abnormal monocytes, remains controversial. The objective of this analysis is to assess concordances between experienced hematopathologists in classifying cells as blasts, promonocytes, and monocytes according to WHO criteria. Each of 11 hematopathologists assessed glass slides from 20 patients [12 with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) and 8 with acute myeloid leukemia (AML)] including blood and BM aspirate smears, and limited nonspecific esterase (NSE) stains. All cases were blindly reviewed. Fleiss' extension of Cohen's kappa for multiple raters was used on these variables, separately for peripheral blood (PB) and bone marrow (BM). Spearman's rank correlation was used to assess correlations between each pair of hematopathologists for each measurement. For the classification based on the sum of blasts and promonocytes in the BM, Fleiss' kappa was estimated as 0.744. For PB, categorizing patients according to the sum of blasts and promonocytes, Fleiss' kappa was estimated as 0.949. Distinction of abnormal monocytes from normal monocytes in PB did not achieve a good concordance and showed strong evidence of differences between hematopathologists (P < .0001). The hematopathologists achieved a good concordance rate of 74% in CMML vs AML classification and a high k rate, confirming that criteria for defining the blasts equivalents (blasts plus promonocytes) could be applied consistently. Identification of monocyte subtypes (abnormal vs normal) was not concordant. Our results support the practice of combining blasts/promonocytes into a single category.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ijlh.13212DOI Listing
August 2020

Comparison of therapy-related and de novo core binding factor acute myeloid leukemia: A bone marrow pathology group study.

Am J Hematol 2020 07 20;95(7):799-808. Epub 2020 Apr 20.

Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

This multi-institutional study retrospectively evaluated clinicopathologic and genetic characteristics in 351 patients with core-binding-factor acute myeloid leukemia (CBF-AML), comprising 69 therapy-related (t-CBF-AML) and 282 de novo cases. The T-CBF-AML patients were older, had lower WBC counts, and slightly higher hemoglobin than patients with de novo disease. Secondary cytogenetic abnormalities were more frequent in patients with de novo disease than t-CBF-AML (57.1% vs 41.1%, P = .026). Patients with secondary cytogenetic abnormalities had longer overall survival (OS) than those without abnormalities (median 190 vs 87 months, P = .021); trisomy 8, trisomy 22, and loss of the X or Y chromosome were associated with longer OS. In the 165 cases performed of targeted gene sequencing, pathogenic mutations were detected in 75.7% of cases, and were more frequent in de novo than in therapy-related disease (P = .013). Mutations were found in N/KRAS (37.0%), FLT3 (27.8%), KIT (17.2%), TET2 (4.9%), and ASXL1 (3.9%). The TET2 mutations were associated with shorter OS (P = .012) while N/KRAS mutation was associated with longer OS in t(8;21) AML patients (P = .001). The KIT mutation did not show prognostic significance in this cohort. Although they received similar therapy, t-CBF-AML patients had shorter OS than de novo patients (median 69 vs 190 months, P = .038). In multivariate analysis of all patients, older age and absence of any secondary cytogenetic abnormalities were significant predictors of shorter OS. Among the t-CBF-AML subset, age and hemoglobin were significant on multivariate analysis. This study demonstrated that although de novo and t-CBF-AML patients share many features, t-CBF-AML patients have worse clinical outcome than de novo patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.25814DOI Listing
July 2020

Diagnosis of classic Hodgkin lymphoma on bone marrow biopsy.

Histopathology 2020 06 7;76(7):934-941. Epub 2020 May 7.

Department of Histopathology, Royal Marsden Hospital, London, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/his.14085DOI Listing
June 2020

Challenges and limitations in the primary diagnosis of T-cell and natural killer cell/T-cell lymphoma in bone marrow biopsy.

Histopathology 2020 07 12;77(1):2-17. Epub 2020 Jun 12.

Pathology and Cytology Department, Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire de Toulouse, Institut Universitaire du Cancer de Toulouse-Oncopole, Centre de Recherche en Cancerologie de Toulouse, Inserm, UMR1037 laboratoire d'excellence TOUCAN, Paul Sabatier University Toulouse III, Toulouse, France.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/his.14093DOI Listing
July 2020

How I investigate chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.

Int J Lab Hematol 2020 Apr 16;42(2):101-108. Epub 2019 Dec 16.

Department of Pathology, Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, TX, USA.

The 2016 revised 4th edition of the World Health Organization classification of hematopoietic neoplasms updated the diagnostic criteria for chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML). Persistent peripheral blood monocytosis of at least 1 × 10 /L and a percentage of monocytes ≥10% of the circulating white blood cell count (WBC) are both prerequisite criteria for this diagnosis. CMML represents the prototype of "overlapping" myeloid neoplasms with concurrent myeloproliferative and myelodysplastic features. However, clinical presentation is heterogeneous, with cases showing prevailing "dysplastic" features and others a predominant "proliferative" phenotype. Accounting for this diversity, two variants of CMML are recognized: "dysplastic" CMML defined by WBC < 13 × 10 /L and "proliferative" CMML with WBC ≥ 13 × 10 /L often showing features mimicking a myeloproliferative neoplasm. Although not an official WHO category, the "oligomonocytic" variant of CMML is defined by relative monocytosis with an absolute monocyte count of 0.5-0.9 × 10 /L. It can be considered a "pre-phase," as it frequently anticipates the development of an overt, classic CMML. In an attempt at improving disease prognostication, the blast count based grading system for CMML of the WHO 2008 Classification has been expanded in 2016 to include a new "CMML-0" category. Lastly, the large body of knowledge on the molecular events occurring in CMML has been used to assist diagnosis and assess prognosis. Despite the step forwards, diagnosis of CMML still remains one of exclusion as no clinical, pathologic or molecular findings are specific for this disease. The current review brings insight into the spectrum of CMML and provides practical advice to approach suspected cases of CMML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ijlh.13145DOI Listing
April 2020

High-throughput Sequencing of Subcutaneous Panniculitis-like T-Cell Lymphoma Reveals Candidate Pathogenic Mutations.

Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol 2019 Nov/Dec;27(10):740-748

Departments of Pathology.

Subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-cell lymphoma (SPTCL) is a malignant primary cutaneous T-cell lymphoma that is challenging to distinguish from other neoplastic and reactive panniculitides. In an attempt to identify somatic variants in SPTCL that may be diagnostically or therapeutically relevant, we performed both exome sequencing on paired tumor-normal samples and targeted sequencing of hematolymphoid-malignancy-associated genes on tumor biopsies. Exome sequencing was performed on skin biopsies from 4 cases of skin-limited SPTCL, 1 case of peripheral T-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified with secondary involvement of the panniculus, and 2 cases of lupus panniculitis. This approach detected between 1 and 13 high-confidence somatic variants that were predicted to result in a protein alteration per case. Variants of interest identified include 1 missense mutation in ARID1B in 1 case of SPTCL. To detect variants that were present at a lower level, we used a more sensitive targeted panel to sequence 41 hematolymphoid-malignancy-associated genes. The targeted panel was applied to 2 of the biopsies that were evaluated by whole exome sequencing as well as 5 additional biopsies. Potentially pathogenic variants were identified in KMT2D and PLCG1 among others, but no gene was altered in >2 of the 7 cases sequenced. One variant that was notably absent from the cases sequences is RHOA G17V. Further work will be required to further elucidate the genetic abnormalities that lead to this rare lymphoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PAI.0000000000000683DOI Listing
July 2020

Genetic Testing in the Diagnosis and Biology of Acute Leukemia.

Am J Clin Pathol 2019 08;152(3):322-346

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Indiana University, Indianapolis.

Objectives: The 2017 Workshop of the Society for Hematopathology/European Association for Haematopathology examined the role of molecular genetics in the diagnosis and biology of acute leukemia.

Methods: Acute leukemias were reviewed in two sessions: "Genetic Testing in Diagnosis of Acute Leukemias" (53 cases) and "Genetics Revealing the Biology of Acute Leukemias" (41 cases).

Results: Cases included acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, and acute leukemia of ambiguous lineage. Many cases demonstrated genetic alterations of known diagnostic, prognostic, and/or therapeutic significance, while others exhibited alterations that illuminated disease biology. The workshop highlighted the complexity of acute leukemia diagnosis and follow-up, while illustrating advantages and pitfalls of molecular genetic testing.

Conclusions: Our understanding of the molecular genetics of acute leukemias continues to grow rapidly. Awareness of the potential complexity of genetic architecture and environment is critical and emphasizes the importance of integrating clinical information with morphologic, immunophenotypic, and molecular genetic evaluation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcp/aqz093DOI Listing
August 2019

Proposed diagnostic criteria for classical chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML), CMML variants and pre-CMML conditions.

Haematologica 2019 10 2;104(10):1935-1949. Epub 2019 May 2.

Department of Pathology, Hematopathology Unit and James P Wilmot Cancer Institute, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA.

Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) is a myeloid neoplasm characterized by dysplasia, abnormal production and accumulation of monocytic cells and an elevated risk of transforming into acute leukemia. Over the past two decades, our knowledge about the pathogenesis and molecular mechanisms in CMML has increased substantially. In parallel, better diagnostic criteria and therapeutic strategies have been developed. However, many questions remain regarding prognostication and optimal therapy. In addition, there is a need to define potential pre-phases of CMML and special CMML variants, and to separate these entities from each other and from conditions mimicking CMML. To address these unmet needs, an international consensus group met in a Working Conference in August 2018 and discussed open questions and issues around CMML, its variants, and pre-CMML conditions. The outcomes of this meeting are summarized herein and include diag nostic criteria and a proposed classification of pre-CMML conditions as well as refined minimal diagnostic criteria for classical CMML and special CMML variants, including oligomonocytic CMML and CMML associated with systemic mastocytosis. Moreover, we propose diagnostic standards and tools to distinguish between 'normal', pre-CMML and CMML entities. These criteria and standards should facilitate diagnostic and prognostic evaluations in daily practice and clinical studies in applied hematology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2019.222059DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6886439PMC
October 2019

Clinical, immunophenotypic, and genomic findings of acute undifferentiated leukemia and comparison to acute myeloid leukemia with minimal differentiation: a study from the bone marrow pathology group.

Mod Pathol 2019 09 18;32(9):1373-1385. Epub 2019 Apr 18.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

Acute undifferentiated leukemia is a rare type of acute leukemia that shows no evidence of differentiation along any lineage. Clinical, immunophenotypic and genetic data is limited and it is uncertain if acute undifferentiated leukemia is biologically distinct from acute myeloid leukemia with minimal differentiation, which also shows limited myeloid marker expression and has been reported to have a poor prognosis. We identified 92 cases initially diagnosed as acute undifferentiated leukemia or acute myeloid leukemia with minimal differentiation from pathology databases of nine academic institutions with available diagnostic flow cytometric data, cytogenetic findings, mutational and clinical data. Outcome analysis was performed using Kaplan Meier test for the 53 patients who received induction chemotherapy. Based on cytogenetic abnormalities (N = 30) or history of myelodysplastic syndrome (N = 2), 32 cases were re-classified as acute myeloid leukemia with myelodysplasia related changes. The remaining 24 acute undifferentiated leukemia patients presented with similar age, blood counts, bone marrow cellularity, and blast percentage as the remaining 30 acute myeloid leukemia with minimal differentiation patients. Compared to acute myeloid leukemia with minimal differentiation, acute undifferentiated leukemia cases were characterized by more frequent mutations in PHF6 (5/15 vs 0/19, p = 0.016) and more frequent expression of TdT on blasts (p = 0.003) while acute myeloid leukemia with minimal differentiation cases had more frequent CD123 expression (p = 0.042). Outcome data showed no difference in overall survival, relapse free survival, or rates of complete remission between acute undifferentiated leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia with minimal differentiation groups (p > 0.05). Acute myeloid leukemia with myelodysplasia-related changes patients showed shorter survival when censoring for bone marrow transplant as compared to acute undifferentiated leukemia (p = 0.03) and acute myeloid leukemia with minimal differentiation (p = 0.002). In this largest series to date, the acute undifferentiated leukemia group shows distinct characteristics from acute myeloid leukemia with minimal differentiation, including more frequent PHF6 mutations and expression of TdT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41379-019-0263-3DOI Listing
September 2019

The 2016 WHO classification of acute myeloid leukemia: What the practicing clinician needs to know.

Authors:
Daniel A Arber

Semin Hematol 2019 04 22;56(2):90-95. Epub 2018 Aug 22.

Department of Pathology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL. Electronic address:

In 2016 a revision of the World Health Organization (WHO) classification of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) was introduced that included changes to several disease categories. The WHO approach results in disease categories that are defined by a combination of clinical, morphologic, immunophenotypic, and genetic features in an attempt to define clinically relevant, biologic entities. This review summarizes the WHO approach as well as the priority of specific features for disease classification. Changes to specific categories, including AML with myelodysplasia-related changes, AML with mutated NPM1, AML with biallelic mutations of CEBPA and erythroleukemia are summarized. The importance of additional gene mutations as well as germline predisposition in AML is also reviewed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.seminhematol.2018.08.002DOI Listing
April 2019

Prognostic Significance of Complex Karyotypes in Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Curr Treat Options Oncol 2019 02 11;20(2):15. Epub 2019 Feb 11.

Department of Pathology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

Opinion Statement: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients with a complex karyotype (CK-AML) show at least 3 unrelated clonal cytogenetic abnormalities with notoriously poor outcome. Such cases fall into either AML with myelodysplasia-related changes or therapy-related AML in the current World Health Organization classification of AML. Allogeneic stem cell transplantation is one of the only treatment modalities that can provide a long-term survival benefit and is recommended as a consolidative treatment in patients who are able to achieve complete remission. Unfortunately, transplantation is also associated with a higher relapse rate and more than half of CK-AML patients relapse from disease within the first 2 years. The probability of achieving remission with traditional induction using cytarabine and daunorubicin or idarubicin ("7 + 3") is so small that investigational therapies should be considered up front in these patients. Less intensive therapeutic backbones, typically using one of the hypomethylating agents, azacitidine or decitabine, minimize toxicity and show a trend toward the improved overall survival. CPX 351 (Vyxeos) is a liposomal formulation of cytarabine and daunorubicin and this encapsulation leads to prolonged exposure to the two drugs. This drug is approved for AML patients with MDS-related changes and therapy-related AML, both of which are frequently associated with complex karyotype. Such patients show improved outcome in trials using this combination. Combination therapy that includes venetoclax (BCL2 inhibitor) with hypomethylating agents may also be appropriate for such patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11864-019-0612-yDOI Listing
February 2019

Update on the pathologic diagnosis of chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.

Mod Pathol 2019 06 5;32(6):732-740. Epub 2019 Feb 5.

Department of Pathology, Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, El Paso, TX, USA.

The diagnostic criteria for chronic myelomonocytic leukemia were recently revised in the 2016 World Health Organization classification update and include new and revised subtypes. In addition, molecular genetic studies have provided new insights into the prognosis and diagnosis of this myeloid neoplasm. This review summarizes the 2016 changes to the diagnostic criteria, discusses potential future changes that may impact diagnosis and provides an overview of recent advances in the diagnosis and prognosis determination of chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41379-019-0215-yDOI Listing
June 2019

Initial Diagnostic Work-Up of Acute Leukemia: ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Endorsement of the College of American Pathologists and American Society of Hematology Guideline.

J Clin Oncol 2019 01 3;37(3):239-253. Epub 2018 Dec 3.

9 Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL.

Purpose: The College of American Pathologists (CAP) and the American Society of Hematology (ASH) developed an evidence-based guideline on the initial diagnostic work-up of acute leukemia (AL). Because of the relevance of this topic to the ASCO membership, ASCO reviewed the guideline and applied a set of procedures and policies for endorsing clinical practice guidelines that have been developed by other professional organizations.

Methods: The CAP-ASH guideline on initial diagnostic work-up of AL was reviewed for developmental rigor by methodologists. Then, an ASCO Endorsement Expert Panel updated the literature search and reviewed the content and recommendations.

Results: The ASCO Expert Panel determined that the recommendations from the guideline, published in 2016, are clear, thorough, and based on the most relevant scientific evidence. ASCO fully endorsed the CAP-ASH guideline on initial diagnostic work-up of AL and included some discussion points according to clinical practice and updated literature.

Conclusion: Twenty-seven guideline statements were reviewed. Some discussion points were included to better assess CNS involvement in leukemia and to provide novel insights into molecular diagnosis and potential markers for risk stratification and target therapy. These discussions are categorized into four sections: (1) initial diagnosis focusing on basic diagnostics and determination of risk parameters, (2) molecular markers and minimal residual disease detection, (3) context of referral to another institution with expertise in the management of AL, and (4) reporting and record keeping for better outlining and follow-up discussion. Additional information is available at: www.asco.org/hematologic-malignancies-guidelines .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.18.01468DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6338392PMC
January 2019

Hematopoietic neoplasms with 9p24/JAK2 rearrangement: a multicenter study.

Mod Pathol 2019 04 6;32(4):490-498. Epub 2018 Nov 6.

Department of Hematopathology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

The purpose of this study is to examine hematopoietic neoplasms with 9p24/JAK2 rearrangement including neoplasms associated with t(8;9)(p22;p24)/PCM1-JAK2 fusion neoplasm as well as cases with translocations involving 9p24/JAK2 and other partner genes. From seven large medical centers, we identified ten patients with t(8;9)(p22;p24) /PCM1-JAK2 and 3 with t(9p24;v)/JAK2 at diagnosis. Majority of the cases showed myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) associated features (n = 7) characterized by variable degrees of eosinophilia, myelofibrosis, frequent proliferations of early erythroblasts in bone marrow and extramedullary sites, and infrequent/absent somatic mutations. Other less common presentations included myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) or MDS/MPN (one each). Four patients presented with B-lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL), and of them, two patients with t(8;9)(p22;p24.1) were proven to be B-lymphoblastic crisis of MPN; and the other two cases with t(9p24;v) both were de novo B-ALL, BCR-ABL1-like (Ph-like). We show that the hematopoietic neoplasms with 9p24/JAK2 rearrangement are extremely rare, and most of them are associated with t(8;9)(p22;p24)/PCM1-JAK2, a recent provisional World Health Organization entity under "myeloid/lymphoid neoplasm with a specific gene rearrangement". Cases of t(8;9)(p22;p24)/PCM1-JAK2, though heterogeneous, do exhibit some common clinicopathological characteristic features. Cases with t(9p24;v)/JAK2 are extremely rare; while such cases with a MPN presentation may resemble t(8;9)(p22;p24.1)/PCM1-JAK2, B-ALL cases presenting de novo B-ALL might belong to Ph-like B-ALL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41379-018-0165-9DOI Listing
April 2019

Frequency of MAP2K1, TP53, and U2AF1 Mutations in BRAF-mutated Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis: Further Characterizing the Genomic Landscape of LCH.

Am J Surg Pathol 2018 07;42(7):885-890

Department of Pathology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.

Langerhans cell histiocytosis is a proliferative disorder of neoplastic Langerhans cells with activating mutations in the Erk signaling pathway. TP53 and U2AF1 mutations have been implicated in other myelomonocytic malignancies and we hypothesized that mutations in these genes may cosegregate in LCH patients according to BRAF mutation status. Towards this end, we collected cases with a pathologic diagnosis of Langerhans cell histiocytosis from Stanford University Hospital. We analyzed the status of known pathogenic alleles in BRAF, ARAF, TP53, U2AF1, and MAP2K1 on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue by direct sequencing. A total of 41 cases (71%) had a BRAFV600E allele detected by sequencing. MAP2K1 mutations were also detected in 5 cases: 3 of 17 (18%) cases with wild-type BRAF and 2 of 41 (5%) cases with BRAFV600E mutations (P=0.14). No cases contained the previously reported ARAF mutation, Q347_A348del. All 10 cases with TP53 mutations contained mutant BRAFV600E allele (P=0.021). Of the 11 cases with U2AF1 mutated, 9 of 41 cases co-occurred with BRAFV600E mutations (P=0.31) and 2 of 17 with wild-type BRAF. Interestingly, we do not find that somatic activating MAP2K1 mutations are mutually exclusive with BRAFV600E mutations as has been reported previously. Instead, our data suggests that MAP2K1 mutations may be present along with BRAF either at diagnosis or may be acquired during disease progression. Furthermore, we demonstrated that likely deleterious TP53 mutations correlate with BRAF mutational status and may play a role in the underlying pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PAS.0000000000001057DOI Listing
July 2018

A Survey of Somatic Mutations in 41 Genes in a Cohort of T-Cell Lymphomas Identifies Frequent Mutations in Genes Involved in Epigenetic Modification.

Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol 2019 07;27(6):416-422

Department of Pathology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA.

Here, we utilize a high throughput sequencing panel that covers several genes known to be recurrently mutated in certain T-cell lymphoma subtypes as well as genes frequently mutated in other hematolymphoid malignancies, including myeloid neoplasms. This panel was applied to formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue from 84 biopsies from 78 patients selected for this study. The biopsies included ones a with a diagnosis of T-cell lymphoma (n=79), including peripheral T-cell lymphoma not otherwise specified (PTCL-NOS; n=26) and angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL; n=13), as well as 5 cases of atypical T-cell proliferations. KMT2C and KMT2D, which code for proteins involved in histone modifications, were the 2 most frequently mutated genes in our cohort and were altered across a range T-cell lymphomas. Mutations in TET2 and DNMT3A, which are involved in regulating DNA methylation, were also found in a variety of T-cell lymphoma categories. The RHOA G17V mutation that is frequently found in AITL was identified 5 of 13 (40%) cases of AITL and in 3 of 26 (12%) cases of PTCL-NOS, but not in biopsies involved by other T-cell proliferations. Our study adds to the already significant evidence from other investigators that, among T-cell lymphomas, the RHOA G17V variant is specific for AITL and PTCL-NOS. In contrast, variants in epigenetic modifier genes do not appear to be particularly specific for T-cell lymphoma subcategories evaluated in our study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PAI.0000000000000644DOI Listing
July 2019

A reevaluation of erythroid predominance in Acute Myeloid Leukemia using the updated WHO 2016 Criteria.

Mod Pathol 2018 06 5;31(6):873-880. Epub 2018 Feb 5.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College/New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY, USA.

The 2016 WHO update changed the diagnostic criteria for myeloid neoplasms with erythroid predominance, limiting the diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia to cases with ≥20% blasts in the bone marrow or peripheral blood. Although acute myeloid leukemia with ≥50% erythroid cells has historically been presumed to represent acute myeloid leukemia with myelodysplasia-related changes, this hypothesis has never been systematically examined. We sought to investigate the clinicopathologic, cytogenetic, and molecular features of acute myeloid leukemia with erythroid predominance to subclassify cases as defined by the 2016 WHO. We retrospectively identified patients with ≥50% erythroid precursors and either ≥20% bone marrow blasts or ≥20% peripheral blood blasts at the time of initial diagnosis at seven major academic centers. Laboratory and clinical data were obtained. Patients were then reclassified according to 2016 WHO guidelines. A matched control group was also obtained. We identified 146 patients with acute myeloid leukemia with erythroid predominance (62% M, average age: 62 y, range: 5-93 y). Of these, 91 were acute myeloid leukemia with myelodysplasia-related changes, 20 (14%) were therapy-related myeloid neoplasm, 23 (16%) acute myeloid leukemia, not otherwise specified, and ten acute myeloid leukemia with recurrent cytogenetic/molecular abnormalities. The bone marrow blast count ranged from 9-41%. There was no difference in survival for patients with erythroid predominance compared to patients with acute myeloid leukemia without erythroid proliferations. In a multivariable analysis, cytogenetic risk was the only significant predictor of survival. We find a significantly lower rate of FLT3 and RAS pathway alterations in acute myeloid leukemia with erythroid predominance compared to controls. Our study is one of the first to apply the 2016 WHO guidelines for classification of acute myeloid leukemia. We find acute myeloid leukemia with erythroid predominance is a heterogeneous group and that erythroid richness has no impact on overall survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41379-018-0001-2DOI Listing
June 2018

Myeloproliferative neoplasms with concurrent BCR-ABL1 translocation and JAK2 V617F mutation: a multi-institutional study from the bone marrow pathology group.

Mod Pathol 2018 05 12;31(5):690-704. Epub 2018 Jan 12.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Myeloproliferative neoplasms arise from hematopoietic stem cells with somatically altered tyrosine kinase signaling. Classification of myeloproliferative neoplasms is based on hematologic, histopathologic and molecular characteristics including the presence of the BCR-ABL1 and JAK2 V617F. Although thought to be mutually exclusive, a number of cases with co-occurring BCR-ABL1 and JAK2 V617F have been identified. To characterize the clinicopathologic features of myeloproliferative neoplasms with concomitant BCR-ABL1 and JAK2 V617F, and define the frequency of co-occurrence, we conducted a retrospective multi-institutional study. Cases were identified using a search of electronic databases over a decade at six major institutions. Of 1570 patients who were tested for both BCR-ABL1 and JAK2 V617F, six were positive for both. An additional five patients were identified via clinical records providing a total of 11 cases for detailed evaluation. For each case, clinical variables, hematologic and genetic data, and bone marrow histomorphologic features were analyzed. The sequence of identification of the genetic abnormalities varied: five patients were initially diagnosed with a JAK2 V617F+ myeloproliferative neoplasm, one patient initially had BCR-ABL1+ chronic myeloid leukemia, while both alterations were identified simultaneously in five patients. Classification of the BCR-ABL1-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms varied, and in some cases, features only became apparent following tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy. Seven of the 11 patients showed myelofibrosis, in some cases before identification of the second genetic alteration. Our data, reflecting the largest reported study comprehensively detailing clinicopathologic features and response to therapy, show that the co-occurrence of BCR-ABL1 and JAK2 V617F is rare, with an estimated frequency of 0.4%, and most often reflects two distinct ('composite') myeloproliferative neoplasms. Although uncommon, it is important to be aware of this potentially confounding genetic combination, lest these features be misinterpreted to reflect resistance to therapy or disease progression, considerations that could lead to inappropriate management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/modpathol.2017.182DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6008160PMC
May 2018

A novel TRIP11-FLT3 fusion in a patient with a myeloid/lymphoid neoplasm with eosinophilia.

Cancer Genet 2017 Oct 10;216-217:10-15. Epub 2017 May 10.

Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. Electronic address:

FLT3 fusions are associated with myeloid and lymphoid neoplasms with eosinophilia. We describe a patient presenting with clinicopathologic features of both chronic eosinophilic leukemia, not otherwise specified (CEL, NOS) and systemic mastocytosis (SM). The bone marrow demonstrated a myeloproliferative neoplasm with eosinophilia and aggregates of atypical mast cells. Cytogenetic analysis revealed a t(13;14)(q12;q32), which was subsequently molecularly characterized as a novel TRIP11-FLT3 rearrangement. A KIT D816V mutation was also identified. The patient rapidly transformed to T-lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma and expired shortly after diagnosis. This is the fifth FLT3 fusion gene described in the literature; the presence of both myeloid and lymphoid neoplasms implicates involvement of an early hematopoietic progenitor by rearranged FLT3. We suggest that leukemias and lymphomas with FLT3 fusion genes exhibit similar clinicopathologic features to, and should be included in, the WHO category of "Myeloid and lymphoid neoplasms with eosinophilia and abnormalities of PDGFRA, PDGFRB, or FGFR1, or with PCM1-JAK2."
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cancergen.2017.05.001DOI Listing
October 2017

Myelodysplastic Syndrome, Unclassifiable (MDS-U) With 1% Blasts Is a Distinct Subgroup of MDS-U With a Poor Prognosis.

Am J Clin Pathol 2017 Jul;148(1):49-57

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College/New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY.

Objectives: Three situations qualify as myelodysplastic syndrome, unclassifiable (MDS-U): (1) refractory cytopenia with dysplasia and 1% blasts in peripheral blood (BL), (2) pancytopenia with unilineage dysplasia (Pan), and (3) persistent cytopenia, less than 5% bone marrow blasts, and less than 10% dysplastic cells and presence of MDS-defining cytogenetic abnormalities (CG). We compared the clinicopathologic features and mutational profiles for these three groups.

Methods: MDS-U cases were reviewed at four major academic institutions. Targeted next-generation sequencing for genes implicated in myeloid neoplasms was performed in a subset of cases.

Results: Twenty-seven patients were identified (six MDS-U BL, 13 MDS-U Pan, and eight MDS-U CG). Clonal cytogenetic abnormalities were found in six of six, seven of 13, and eight of eight cases in MDS-U BL, Pan, and CG, respectively (P > .05). Overall, four of six patients with MDS-U BL progressed to acute myeloid leukemia; no MDS-U Pan or CG patients did. The rates of progression-free survival and mortality (overall survival) were significantly higher in MDS-U BL compared with Pan and CG (P < .001 for both).

Conclusions: We find that MDS-U BL is a distinct subset of MDS-U with a poor prognosis, while MDS-U Pan and CG are relatively indolent. Evaluation of peripheral blood smears in patients with MDS is essential for accurate classification and prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcp/aqx043DOI Listing
July 2017
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