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The pathogenesis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) involves the cooperation of mutations promoting proliferation/survival and those impairing differentiation. The RAS pathway has been implicated as a key component of the proliferative drive in AML. We have screened AML patients, predominantly younger than 60 years and treated within 2 clinical trials, for NRAS (n = 1106), KRAS (n = 739), and HRAS (n = 200) hot-spot mutations using denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography or restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. NRAS mutations were confirmed in 11% of patients (126/1106) and KRAS mutations in 5% (39/739). No HRAS mutations were detected in 200 randomly selected samples. Codons most frequently mutated were N12 (43%), N13 (21%), and K12 (21%). KRAS mutations were relatively overrepresented in French-American-British (FAB) type M4 (P < .001). NRAS mutation was over-represented in the t(3;5)(q21 approximately 25;q31 approximately q35) subgroup (P < .001) and underrepresented in t(15;17)(q22;q21) (P < .001). KRAS mutation was overrepresented in inv(16)(p13q22) (P = .004). Twenty-three percent of KRAS mutations were within the inv(16) subgroup. RAS mutation and FLT3 ITD were rarely coexistent (14/768; P < .001). Median percentage of RAS mutant allele assayed by quantitative RFLP analysis was 28% (N12), 19% (N13), 25% (N61), and 21% (K12). RAS mutation did not influence clinical outcome (overall/disease-free survival, complete remission, relapse rate) either for the entire cohort or within cytogenetic risk groups.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





2113 - 2119


Acute Disease, Age Factors, Cytogenetic Analysis, DNA Mutational Analysis, Genes, ras, Humans, Leukemia, Myeloid, Middle Aged, Molecular Epidemiology, Mutation, Proto-Oncogene Proteins, Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases, Survival Analysis, Treatment Outcome, fms-Like Tyrosine Kinase 3, ras Proteins