Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a genetically heterogeneous disease with a clinical course predicted by recurrent cytogenetic abnormalities and/or gene mutations. The NPM1 insertion mutations define the largest distinct genetic subset, ∼30% of AML, and is considered a favorable risk marker if there is no (or low allelic ratio) FLT3 internal tandem duplication (FLT3 ITD) mutation. However, ∼40% of patients with mutated NPM1 without FLT3 ITD still relapse, and the factors that drive relapse are still not fully understood. We used a next-generation sequencing panel to examine mutations at diagnosis; clearance of mutations after therapy, and gain/loss of mutations at relapse to prioritize mutations that contribute to relapse. Triple mutation of NPM1, DNMT3A and IDH1/2 showed a trend towards inferior overall survival in our discovery dataset, and was significantly associated with reduced OS in a large independent validation cohort. Analysis of relative variant allele frequencies suggests that early mutation and expansion of DNMT3A and IDH1/2 prior to acquisition of NPM1 mutation leads to increased risk of relapse. This subset of patients may benefit from allogeneic stem cell transplant or clinical trials with IDH inhibitors.
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