Frameshift mutations in exon 12 of the nucleophosmin gene (NPM1) result in aberrant cytoplasmic localization of the NPM protein (NPMc+) and occur in 25% to 35% of adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In adults with AML, NPMc+ has been associated with normal karyotype, FLT3/ITD mutations, high remission induction rates, and improved survival (particularly in patients lacking FLT3/ITD). NPMc+ has not been well characterized in childhood AML. This study examines the incidence and clinical significance of NPMc + in 295 children with newly diagnosed AML treated on a large cooperative group clinical trial (POG-9421). We find that NPMc+ is relatively uncommon in childhood AML (23 of 295 patients, 8%); and is significantly associated with FLT3/ITD mutations (P = .046), female sex (P = .029), older age (P = .047), and normal cytogenetics (P < .001). There is a favorable impact of NPMc+ on survival in children lacking FLT3/ITD (5-year EFS, 69% vs 35%; hazard ratio, 0.39; P = .051), which is similar in magnitude to the favorable impact of t(8;21) and inv(16). We conclude that NPMc+ is relatively rare in childhood AML, particularly in younger children. NPMc+ does not abrogate the negative prognostic influence of FLT3/ITD mutations, but may contribute to risk stratification in children who lack FLT3/ITD mutations by identifying a group with superior prognosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology