Comprehensive molecular characterization of a rare case of Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute myeloid leukemia

Mara W. Rosenberg, Samantha L. Savage, Christopher A. Eide, Anna Reister Schultz, Rachel Cook, Richard Press, Carole Rempfer, Garrett Eickelberg, Beth Wilmot, Shannon K. McWeeney, Jeffrey W. Tyner, Brian J. Druker, Cristina E. Tognon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Philadelphia chromosome (Ph) resulting from the t(9;22) translocation generates the oncogenic BCR::ABL1 fusion protein that is most commonly associated with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and Ph-positive (Ph+) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). There are also rare instances of patients (≤1%) with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) that harbor this translocation (Paietta et al., Leukemia12: 1881 [1998]; Keung et al., Leuk Res28: 579 [2004]; Soupir et al., Am J Clin Pathol127: 642 [2007]). AML with BCR::ABL has only recently been provisionally classified by the World Health Organization as a diagnostically distinct subtype of AML. Discernment from the extremely close differential diagnosis of myeloid blast crisis CML is challenging, largely relying on medical history rather than clinical characteristics (Arber et al., Blood127: 2391 [2016]). To gain insight into the genomic features underlying the evolution of AML with BCR::ABL, we identified a patient presenting with a high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome that acquired a BCR::ABL alteration after a peripheral blood stem cell transplant. Serial samples were collected and analyzed using whole-exome sequencing, RNA-seq, and ex vivo functional drug screens. Persistent subclones were identified, both at diagnosis and at relapse, including an SF3B1p.Lys700Glu mutation that later cooccurred with an NRASp.Gly12Cys mutation. Functional ex vivo drug screening performed on primary patient cells suggested that combination therapies of ABL1 with RAS or PI3K pathway inhibitors could have augmented the patient's response throughout the course of disease. Together, our findings argue for the importance of genomic profiling and the potential value of ABL1 inhibitor-inclusive combination treatment strategies in patients with this rare disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCold Spring Harbor Molecular Case Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 1 2022


  • acute myeloid leukemia
  • leukemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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