Minimally differentiated acute myeloid leukemia (AML-MO): a distinct clinico-biologic entity with poor prognosis
Cytogenetic data were studied in 26 patients with de novo acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with minimal myeloid differentiation, corresponding to the M0 subtype of the French-American-British classification, in correlation with cytoimmunologic and clinical findings. Clonal abnormalities were detected in 21 cases (80.7%), 12 of which had a complex karyotype. Partial or total monosomy 5q and/or 7q was found, either as the sole aberration or in all abnormal metaphases, in 11 patients; in 8 cases, additional chromosome changes were present, including rearrangements involving 12p12-13 and 2p12-15 seen in 3 cases each. Five patients had trisomy 13 as a possible primary chromosome change; in 5 cases, nonrecurrent chromsome abnormalities were observed. Comparison of these findings with chromosome data from 42 patients with AML-M1 shows that abnormal karyotypes, complex karyotypes, unbalanced chromosome changes (-5/5q- and/or -7/7q- and +13) were observed much more frequently in AML-M0 than in AML-M1. Patients with abnormalities of chromosome 5 and/or 7 frequently showed trilineage myelodysplasia and low white blood cell count. Despite their relatively young age, complete remission was achieved in 4 of 11 patients only. Patients with +13 were elderly males with frequent professional exposure to myelotoxic agents. Unlike patients with clonal abnormalities, most AML-M0 patients with normal karyotype showed 1% to 2% peroxidase-positive blast cells at light microscopy and frequently achieved CR. It is concluded that (1) AML-M0 shows a distinct cytogenetic profile, partially recalling that of therapy-related AML, (2) different cytogenetic groups of AML-M0 can be identified showing characteristic clinicobiologic features, and (3) chromosome rearrangements may partially account for the unfavorable outcome frequently observed in these patients.