Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is a clonal, malignant disease of hematopoietic tissue that is characterized by accumulation of abnormal (leukemic) blast cells, principally in the bone marrow. Representation of these genetic mutations and the involvement patterns seems to follow specific and temporally ordered fluctuating manners. Somatic mutations in these genes are represented as a variety of recurrent chromosomal abnormalities, e.g., t (8;21), t(15;17), etc., or by the presence of prognostic markers, e.g., FLT3, MLL, NPM1 and CEBPA as well as encoding epigenetic modifiers, such as DNMT3A, ASXL1, TET2, IDH1, and IDH2, are commonly acquired early and are present in the founding clone. The same genes are frequently found to be mutated in elderly individuals along with clonal expansion of hematopoiesis that confers an increased risk for the development of hematologic cancers. Furthermore, such genomic changes may persist after therapy, lead to clonal expansion during hematologic remission, and eventually lead to relapsed disease. Majority of genetic data are now being used to classification, risk stratification, and clinical care of patients. The unprecedented molecular characterization provided by advanced and deeply sensitized molecular assays like next-generation sequencing (NGS) offers the potential for an individualized approach to treatment in AML, bringing us one step closer to personalized medicine.
Part of the book: Myeloid Leukemia