Purpose of review
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is characterized by a high degree of heterogeneity with respect to chromosome abnormalities, gene mutations and changes in expression of multiple genes and microRNAs. In this article, we review the results of recent studies of AML that used microarray-based genome-wide gene-expression and microRNA-expression profiling.
Genome-wide analyses of gene expression and microRNA expression have revealed AML signatures that are closely associated with some, but not all, cytogenetic and molecular genetic subsets, helped in identification of novel biologic subtypes and led to characterization of molecular pathways involved in leukemogenesis. For some AML categories, namely core-binding factor AML and/or cytogenetically normal AML, gene-expression and microRNA-expression profiling provided prognostic information additional to that obtained from cytogenetics and analyses of gene mutations and single gene expression changes.
Gene-expression and microRNA-expression profiling not only has the potential to enhance our understanding of the disease biology, but also appears to constitute an applicable approach for outcome prediction and identification of novel therapeutic targets.