CD123 Expression Is Associated With High-Risk Disease Characteristics in Childhood Acute Myeloid Leukemia: A Report From the Children's Oncology Group.

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2021 Dec 02

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<p><strong>PURPOSE: </strong>Increased CD123 surface expression has been associated with high-risk disease characteristics in adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but has not been well-characterized in childhood AML. In this study, we defined CD123 expression and associated clinical characteristics in a uniformly treated cohort of pediatric patients with newly diagnosed AML enrolled on the Children's Oncology Group AAML1031 phase III trial (NCT01371981).</p>

<p><strong>MATERIALS AND METHODS: </strong>AML blasts within diagnostic bone marrow specimens (n = 1,040) were prospectively analyzed for CD123 protein expression by multidimensional flow cytometry immunophenotyping at a central clinical laboratory. Patients were stratified as low-risk or high-risk on the basis of (1) leukemia-associated cytogenetic and molecular alterations and (2) end-of-induction measurable residual disease levels.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>The study population was divided into CD123 expression-based quartiles (n = 260 each) for analysis. Those with highest CD123 expression (quartile 4 [Q4]) had higher prevalence of high-risk rearrangements and -ITD mutations ( &lt; .001 for both) and lower prevalence of low-risk t(8;21), inv(16), and mutations ( &lt; .001 for all). Patients in lower CD123 expression quartiles (Q1-3) had similar relapse risk, event-free survival, and overall survival. Conversely, Q4 patients had a significantly higher relapse risk (53% 39%, &lt; .001), lower event-free survival (49% 69%, &lt; .001), and lower overall survival (32% 50%, &lt; .001) in comparison with Q1-3 patients. CD123 maintained independent significance for outcomes when all known contemporary high-risk cytogenetic and molecular markers were incorporated into multivariable Cox regression analysis.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSION: </strong>CD123 is strongly associated with disease-relevant cytogenetic and molecular alterations in childhood AML. CD123 is a critical biomarker and promising immunotherapeutic target for children with relapsed or refractory AML, given its prevalent expression and enrichment in patients with high-risk genetic alterations and inferior clinical outcomes with conventional therapy.</p>



Alternate Title

J Clin Oncol




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