MYC protein expression is an important prognostic factor in acute myeloid leukemia

Maro Ohanian, Uri Rozovski, Rashmi Kanagal-Shamanna, Lynne V. Abruzzo, Sanam Loghavi, Tapan Kadia, Andrew Futreal, Kapil Bhalla, Zhuang Zuo, Yang O. Huh, Sean M. Post, Peter Ruvolo, Guillermo Garcia-Manero, Michael Andreeff, Steven Kornblau, Gautam Borthakur, Peter Hu, L. Jeffrey Medeiros, Koichi Takahashi, Marisa J. HornbakerJianhua Zhang, Graciela M. Nogueras-González, Xuelin Huang, Srdan Verstovsek, Zeev Estrov, Sherry Pierce, Farhad Ravandi, Hagop M. Kantarjian, Carlos E. Bueso-Ramos, Jorge E. Cortes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


As new drugs targeting MYC show clinical activity in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), understanding MYC expression in AML is of critical importance. We assessed MYC protein expression by immunohistochemistry in bone marrow of patients with untreated AML (n = 265). Overall, 90% of patients demonstrated MYC overexpression and MYC immunopositivity ≤6% was associated with superior complete remission (CR) duration of 23 months versus 12 months for MYC immunopositivity >6% (p =.028). Among 241 patients at higher risk for relapse, including those ≥55 years of age and patients with intermediate- and high-risk AML, MYC immunopositivity ≤6% conferred significantly superior median overall survival (OS) (24 versus 13 months; p =.042), event-free survival (EFS) (14 versus 6 months; p =.048), and relapse-free survival (RFS) (25 versus 12 months; p =.024). The prognostic impact of MYC-immunopositivity was retained on multivariate analysis of OS, EFS, and RFS. We conclude that MYC immunopositivity is an important prognostic factor in patients with untreated AML, particularly those at higher risk for relapse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-48
Number of pages12
JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
  • MYC
  • immunohistochemistry (IHC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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