BACKGROUND: In acute myeloid leukemia controversy exists about the role of immunophenotyping of the blasts at diagnosis as a potential prognostic factor.
METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed immunophenotypic marker expression on blasts in relation to genetic aberrancies and survival data of 684 patients. All patients were included in different studies from the HOVON/SAKK Consortium.
RESULTS: Markers CD2, CD7, CD11b, CD19, CD22, and CD56 all appeared to be associated with one or more established prognostic genetic aberrancies. In the overall population, differences in univariate survival analyses were observed for CD2, CD11b, and CD22. After correcting these survival differences for currently used risk profile data, only CD11b expression remained of prognostic value for poor overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS). CD11b expression turned out to be an independent factor for poor OS and EFS in the subgroup of patients who lacked cytogenetic and molecular aberrancies.
CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we demonstrate that associations between immunophenotypic markers and genetic aberrancies interfere with the prognostic properties of immunophenotypic markers. Such may account for most of the previously reported prognostic impact of these markers. Only CD11b expression remained as an independent prognostic marker. © 2017 International Clinical Cytometry Society.