MYC protein expression does not correlate with MYC abnormalities detected by FISH but predicts an unfavorable prognosis in de novo acute myeloid leukemia.
While dysregulation of MYC has been implicated in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the impact of MYC protein expression in AML is less well understood. We investigated the correlation of MYC protein expression by immunohistochemistry (MYC-IHC) with MYC abnormalities and prognosis in adult de novo AML. MYC-IHC in bone marrow of patients with untreated AML (n = 58) was assessed and scored as MYClow (0-40 % of blasts) or MYChigh (> 40 % of blasts). This was correlated with MYC abnormalities by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and prognosis in the context of cytogenetic risk stratification. Residual myeloid disease at the end of induction was assessed by flow cytometry. MYClow and MYChigh were detected in 24 (41 %) and 34 cases (59 %), respectively. Extra copies of MYC were present in 12 % of cases and were not correlated with level of MYC-IHC. No cases had MYC translocation or amplification. Compared to MYClow patients, MYChigh patients had a shorter overall survival in all cytogenetic risk groups (68 vs. 21 months, p = 0.006) and in the intermediate risk group (61 vs. 21 months, p = 0.046). MYChigh patients had a tendency towards detected residual disease at the end of induction in all cytogenetic risk and intermediate risk groups. Regardless of the underlying mechanisms of MYC dysregulation, high level of MYC protein is expressed in the majority of AML and correlated to worse prognosis. Further studies on MYC dysregulation in leukemogenesis and therapy targeting MYC aberration are warranted.
Chen, P; Redd, L; Schmidt, Y; Koduru, P; Fuda, F; Montgomery-Goecker, C; Kumar, K; Xu-Monette, Z; Young, K; Collins, R; Chen, W
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