Leuk Res 2020 Dec 15;99:106462. Epub 2020 Oct 15.
Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, University of Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; Santa Lucia Foundation, I.R.C.C.S., Neuro-Oncohematology, Rome, Italy. Electronic address:
The terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) is a DNA polymerase expressed in acute myeloid leukemias (AMLs), where it may be involved in the generation of NPM1 and FLT3-ITD mutations. We studied the correlations between TdT expression and FLT3-ITD or NPM1 mutations in primary AML samples, and the impact on patients' survival. TdT expression was analyzed in 143 adult AML patients by flow cytometry as percentage of positivity and mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) on blasts. TdT was positive in 49 samples (34.2%), with a median of 48% TdT-positivity (range 7-98) and a median MFI of 2.70 (range 1.23-30.54). FLT3-ITD and NPM1 mutations were present in 24 (16.7%) and 34 (23.7%) cases, respectively. Median TdT expression on blasts was significantly higher in FLT3-ITD+, as compared with FLT3-ITD- AMLs (median 8% vs 0% respectively, p = 0.035). NPM1 mutational status, FLT3-ITD allelic ratio, karyotype, and ELN risk groups, did not correlate with TdT expression or MFI on blasts. TdT + patients had poorer survival as compared to TdT-, but this result was not confirmed by the multivariable analysis, where ELN risk stratification as well as age and type of treatment remained independent prognostic factors for OS. In summary, our results support the possible implication of TdT enzyme in the generation of FLT3-ITD mutations in AML.