Biomedical papers - Ahead of Print

Biomed Pap Med Fac Univ Palacky Olomouc Czech Repub. X:X | 10.5507/bp.2017.013

Mixed-phenotype acute leukemia: state-of-the-art of the diagnosis, classification and treatment

Martin Cernan, Tomas Szotkowski, Zuzana Pikalova
Department of Hemato-Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Palacky University Olomouc and University Hospital Olomouc, Czech Republic.

Mixed-phenotype acute leukemia (MPAL) is a heterogeneous group of hematopoietic malignancies in which blasts show markers of multiple developmental lineages and cannot be clearly classified as acute myeloid or lymphoblastic leukemias. Historically, various names and classifications were used for this rare entity accounting for 2-5% of all acute leukemias depending on the diagnostic criterias used. The currently valid classification of myeloid neoplasms and acute leukemia published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2016 refers to this group of diseases as MPAL. Because adverse cytogenetic abnormalities are frequently present, MPAL is generally considered a disease with a poor prognosis. Knowledge of its treatment is limited to retrospective analyses of small patient cohorts. So far, no treatment recommendations verified by prospective studies have been published. The reported data suggest that induction therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia followed by allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation is more effective than induction therapy for acute myeloid leukemia or consolidation chemotherapy. The establishment of cooperative groups and international registries based on the recent WHO criterias are required to ensure further progress in understanding and treatment of MPAL. This review summarizes current knowledge on the diagnosis, classification, prognosis and treatment of MPAL patients.

Keywords: mixed-phenotype acute leukemia, MPAL, diagnosis, classification, prognosis, treatment

Received: November 15, 2016; Accepted: March 21, 2017; Prepublished online: April 18, 2017


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