Significant progress in the understanding of the genetic basis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has been made during the last 30 years. The aim of the present study was to assess whether the detection of recurrent gene rearrangements by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) studies and NPM1 and FLT3 gene mutations by molecular studies added clinically relevant information to the karyotype in 113 AML patients. Thus, FISH and molecular studies were found to add new information in 22 and 55% of the patients, respectively, particularly in cases with normal karyotype (NK) or when a cytogenetic analysis failed. Patients with NK changed their genetic risk group to favorable in 27 and 29% of cases using FISH and molecular biology studies, respectively. Our results demonstrate that molecular biology and FISH studies provide relevant information in AML and should be routinely performed.

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