3q21 and 3q26 cytogenetic abnormalities in acute myeloblastic leukemia: Biological and clinical features

Nicoletta Testoni, Gabriela Borsaru, Giovanni Martinelli, Cristina Carboni, Deborah Ruggeri, Emanuela Ottaviani, Susanna Pelliconi, Paolo Ricci, Rocco Pastano, Giuseppe Visani, Alfonso Zaccaria, Sante Tura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objective. Acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML) with features of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and abnormalities of megakaryocytopolesis is often characterized by cytogenetic aberrations of the 3q21 and 3q26 bands involving inv(3)(q21q26) and (3;3)(q21;q26). These aberrations have been described in all FAB subtypes with the exception of M3, and in MDS and in megakaryoblastic crisis of chronic myeloid leukemia. We reviewed the biological and clinical features of 10 cases of AML with inv(3)(q21q26) and t(3;3)(q21;q26). Design and Methods. Four hundred and sixteen patients with AML were studied in our Institute by cytogenetic analysis and 10 (2.4%) showed inv(3)(q21q26) (7 patients) or t(3;3)(q21;q26) (3 patients): 7 males, 3 females; median age, 43.5 yrs. we also used RT-PCR to Investigate the pattern of expression of the EVI-1 gene in 5 patients. Results. Additional chromosomal changes were demonstrated in 6 patients. In 5/10 cases a preceding MDS had been observed. A possible occupational exposure was established in 2 patients (a farmer and an histologist employing organic solvents) and another patient had a therapy-related leukemia. AML subtype was M1 in 9 patients and M2 in 1. A variable excess of micromegakaryocytes was observed in all the patients. In 5 patients the platelet count was normal or Increased (median number: 172.5x109/L; range 55-440). Expression of EVI-1 gene was present in all the 5 patients studied. The clinical course and outcome was extremely poor: 9/10 patients were resistant and 1 patient showed a partial remission after induction therapy. Of the 9 patients resistant to the first line chemotherapy, 7 were also resistant to the second line chemotherapy. Three patients obtained a morphologic complete remission after third line chemotherapy (duration 1, 3 and 6 months); 2 of them were submitted to autologous bone marrow transplantation, but relapsed after 1 and 3 months. The median overall survival was 5.5 months. Interpretation and Conclusions. Our findings evidence a strong correlation between 3q21q26 chromosomal aberrations, abnormalities of megakaryocytopoiesis and lack of response to conventional chemotherapy and support the diagnostic and prognostic relevance of chromosome characterization in the classification of AML.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690-694
Number of pages5
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1999


  • 3q abnormalities
  • Acute myeloblastic leukemia
  • Cytogenetics
  • EVI-1 expression
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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