Genetic alterations identify leukemia patients with poor prognosis

Published: 2012-11-07

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a disease with very varying prognosis. In a recently published paper Richard Rosenquist’s research group describes a further correlation between mutations in two specific genes and a disease course with very poor prognosis. The presence of these mutations can potentially be used to improve the assessment of treatment strategies for individual patients.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a disease with varying disease course, where some patients can live for a long time while others succumb rapidly to the disease, despite therapy. To be able to evaluate the prognosis for individual patients the disease is divided into subgroups based on for example the presence or absence of genetic alterations.

Richard Rosenquist and his colleagues show in a new study that mutations in two specific genes can be used as markers for CLL with poor prognosis. They studied material from 360 patients and found that the presence of the mutations correlated both with a shorter time to treatment and a shorter overall survival.

– Our results indicate that these mutations can be added to the genetic alterations that are used to identify patients with very poor prognosis. Further studies, based on a larger patient material, might show if analyses of the mutations can be transferred into routine clinical practice, says Richard Rosenquist.

The article has been published in the journal Leukemia and is a collaboration with researchers at Karolinska Institutet, Lund University and Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen.
More information:
Article in Leukemia
Richard Rosenquist’s research