Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remains the leading cause of cancer related deaths in young adults and accounts for a large proportion of potential years of life loss due to cancer. Unfortunately, even today, the large majority of patients diagnosed with this disease will die from it within 1-2 years of diagnosis. Chromosome analysis of leukemic cells (termed cytogenetics) currently represents the most important tool to establish the prognosis (outcome) of patients suffering from AML. 60% of patients are classified as intermediate risk and this cytogenetic subgroup represents a “grey area” where therapeutic decision is difficult. A limited number of predictive biomarkers exist for intermediate risk patients. Recent developments in DNA sequencing technologies have paved the way to a complete molecular characterization of these tumors. This project utilizes cutting edge technology in order to improve diagnostic methods and treatment options available to individuals suffering from AML.
Major changes in AML therapeutic decisions are anticipated with this test, namely
• Better categorization of AML patients
• Avoidance of unnecessary chemotherapy
• Prevention of unnecessary hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) thereby reducing morbidity, mortality, and payer costs