RAS is an oncogene frequently mutated in human cancer. RAS mutations have been reported in 10-15% of cases of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) but they appear to be less frequent among patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). The impact of RAS mutations in patients with MDS is unclear. We conducted a retrospective study in 1,067 patients with newly diagnosed MDS for whom RAS mutational analysis was available. Overall, 4% of patients carried mutant RAS alleles. Notably, FLT3 mutations, which were found in 2% of patients, were mutually exclusive with RAS mutations. Patients with RAS mutations had a higher white blood cell count as well as bone marrow blasts compared with patients carrying wild-type RAS. However, no differences were observed between both groups regarding the risk of AML transformation (9% vs. 7%) and overall survival (395 days vs. 500 days, P=0.057). In summary, RAS mutations are infrequent in patients with MDS and do not appear to negatively impact their outcome.
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