Impact of diagnostic genetics on remission MRD and transplantation outcomes in older patients with AML

H. Moses Murdock, Haesook T. Kim, Nathan Denlinger, Pankit Vachhani, Bryan Hambley, Bryan S. Manning, Shannon Gier, Christina Cho, Harrison K. Tsai, Shannon McCurdy, Vincent T. Ho, John Koreth, Robert J. Soiffer, Jerome Ritz, Martin P. Carroll, Sumithira Vasu, Miguel Angel Perales, Eunice S. Wang, Lukasz P. Gondek, Steven DevineEdwin P. Alyea, R. Coleman Lindsley, Christopher J. Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have high relapse risk and poor survival after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Younger patients may receive myeloablative conditioning to mitigate relapse risk associated with high-risk genetics or measurable residual disease (MRD), but older adults typically receive reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) to limit toxicity. To identify factors that drive HCT outcomes in older patients, we performed targeted mutational analysis (variant allele fraction ≥2%) on diagnostic samples from 295 patients with AML aged ≥60 years who underwent HCT in first complete remission, 91% of whom received RIC, and targeted duplex sequencing at remission in a subset comprising 192 patients. In a multivariable model for leukemia-free survival (LFS) including baseline genetic and clinical variables, we defined patients with low (3-year LFS, 85%), intermediate (55%), high (35%), and very high (7%) risk. Before HCT, 79.7% of patients had persistent baseline mutations, including 18.3% with only DNMT3A or TET2 (DT) mutations and 61.4% with other mutations (MRD positive). In univariable analysis, MRD positivity was associated with increased relapse and inferior LFS, compared with DT and MRD-negative mutations. However, in a multivariable model accounting for baseline risk, MRD positivity had no independent impact on LFS, most likely because of its significant association with diagnostic genetic characteristics, including MDS-associated gene mutations, TP53 mutations, and high-risk karyotype. In summary, molecular associations with MRD positivity and transplant outcomes in older patients with AML are driven primarily by baseline genetics, not by mutations present in remission. In this group of patients, where high-intensity conditioning carries substantial risk of toxicity, alternative approaches to mitigating MRD-associated relapse risk are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3546-3557
Number of pages12
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 16 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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