Therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia (t-AML) is a lethal late complication of alkylator chemotherapy. The genetic basis of susceptibility to t-AML is poorly understood. Both t-AML and de novo AML are complex genetic diseases, requiring cooperating mutations in interacting pathways for disease initiation and progression. Germline variants of these 'leukemia pathway' genes may cooperate with somatic mutations to induce both de novo and therapy-related AML. Several cancer susceptibility syndromes have been identified that cause an inherited predisposition to de novo and t-AML. The genes responsible for these syndromes are also somatically mutated in sporadic AML. We reason that germline polymorphism in any gene somatically mutated in AML could contribute to t-AML risk in the general population. Identification of these susceptibility alleles should help clinicians develop tailored therapies that reduce the relative risk of t-AML.
- Acute myeloid leukemia
- CEBPA chemotherapy
- Fanconi amenia
- Single nucleotide polymorphism