The net benefits of induction therapy for older adults with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remain controversial. Because AML in older adults is a heterogeneous disease, it is important to identify those who are unlikely to benefit from induction therapy based on information available at the initial assessment. We used next-generation sequencing to analyze TP53 mutation status in AML patients aged 60 years or older, and evaluated its effects on outcomes. TP53 mutations were detected in 12 of 77 patients (16 %), and there was a significant association between TP53 mutations and monosomal karyotype. Patients with TP53 mutations had significantly worse survival than those without (P = 0.009), and multivariate analysis identified TP53 mutation status as the most significant prognostic factor for survival. Neverthelsess, TP53-mutated patients had a 42 % chance of complete remission and a median survival of 8.0 months, which compares favorably with those who did not undergo induction therapy, even in the short term. These results suggest that screening for TP53 mutations at diagnosis is useful for identifying older adults with AML who are least likely to respond to chemotherapy, although the presence of this mutation alone does not seem to justify rejecting induction therapy.
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