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Jawhar, Mohamad; Schwaab, Juliana; Meggendorfer, Manja; Naumann, Nicole; Horny, Hans-Peter; Sotlar, Karl; Haferlach, Torsten; Schmitt, Karla; Fabarius, Alice; Valent, Peter; Hofmann, Wolf-Karsten; Cross, Nicholas C. P.; Metzgeroth, Georgia and Reiter, Andreas (2017): The clinical and molecular diversity of mast cell leukemia with or without associated hematologic neoplasm. In: Haematologica, Vol. 102, No. 6: pp. 1035-1043

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Mast cell leukemia is a rare variant of advanced systemic mastocytosis characterized by at least 20% of mast cells in a bone marrow smear. We evaluated clinical and molecular characteristics of 28 patients with (n=20, 71%) or without an associated hematologic neoplasm. De novo mast cell leukemia was diagnosed in 16 of 28 (57%) patients and secondary mast cell leukemia evolving from other advanced systemic mastocytosis subtypes in 12 of 28 (43%) patients, of which 7 patients progressed while on cytoreductive treatment. Median bone marrow mast cell infiltration was 65% and median serum tryptase was 520 mu g/L. C-findings were identified in 26 of 28 (93%) patients. Mutations in KIT (D816V, n=19;D816H/Y, n=5;F522C, n=1) were detected in 25 of 28 (89%) patients and prognostically relevant additio-nal mutations in SRSF2, ASXL1 or RUNX1 (S/A/R-pos) in 13 of 25 (52%) patients. Overall response rate in 18 treatment-naIve patients was 5 of 12 (42%) on midostaurin and 1 of 6 (17%) on cladribine, and after switch 1 of 4 (25%) on midostaurin and 0 of 3 on cladribine, respectively. S/A/Rpos adversely affected response to treatment and progression to secondary mast cell leukemia (n=6) or acute myeloid leukemia (n=3) while on treatment (P < 0.05). The median overall survival from mast cell leukemia diagnosis was 17 months as compared to 44 months in a control group of 124 patients with advanced systemic mastocytosis but without mast cell leukemia (P=0.03). In multivariate analyses, S/A/R-pos remained the only independent poor prognostic variable predicting overall survival (P=0.007). In conclusion, the molecular signature should be determined in all patients with mast cell leukemia because of its significant clinical and prognostic relevance.

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