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What Genetic Mutations Do Doctors Look for in AML Patients?

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Published on December 27, 2019

During this acute myeloid leukemia Ask the Expert segment, 

Dr. Gail Roboz, from Weill Cornell Medicine, explains what a myeloid mutation panel is and which mutations have indications for acute myeloid leukemia treatment and prognosis. Dr. Roboz also shares some questions to ask your health care team about genetic testing. Watch now to find out more.

This program is sponsored by AbbVie, Inc., Genentech, Inc. and Adaptive Biotechnologies. These organizations have no editorial control. It is produced by Patient Power. Patient Power is solely responsible for program content.

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Transcript | What Genetic Mutations Do Doctors Look for in AML Patients?

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Carol Preston:               

Mark wanted to know about genetic mutations and what mutations are you looking for and I know from my experience with CLL, mutated was better than unmutated. I don’t know if the same thing applies but what mutations are you looking for?

Dr. Roboz:              

Very different. So, CLL, I have to say it’s a great point to bring up that leukemia, everybody knows that it’s a scary word, but if you talk CLL versus CML versus AML versus ALL; there are lots of different letters going on and it is not all the same thing. So, mutated versus unmutated in CLL is completely different from what we’re talking about in AML. So, there’s been an arms race to sort of figure out well, how many genes can I get onto my panel? And the academic centers will have 50 gene panels or 100 gene panels or 500 gene panels and the revolution in next generation sequencing has resulted in the ability to detect lots of different things that mostly we don’t know what to do with yet.

 

What you do want to make sure of though is a myeloid mutation panel should be sent and what you’re specifically looking for initially is a collection of mutations about which we do have some treatments and prognostic information. Things for example like Flip 2, FLT 3, or CEBPA, or IDH1 and 2, or NPM1. This is an alphabet soup for patients to listen to at the moment. But trust me when I tell you that if you look at various patient advocacy groups for example in AML—I have a pin on right now that says know AML, K-N-O-W. What they want you to do is ask the question from the doc, “Hey, what mutations do I have and which one of these do you know something about? Does it matter for my prognosis? Does it matter for my treatment? Does it matter for both?”

That I think is a very useful conversation as opposed to getting into the weeds on 500 different mutations that we actually don’t know much about yet. There are plenty.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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