Next generation sequencing (NGS) has allowed to improve knowledge about the genomic landscape of hematological malignancies. Somatic mutations (SM) are valuable new biomarkers but the utility of incorporating routine sequencing to guide diagnosis and therapeutic decisions remains challenging. We report here an observational multicentric study aimed at assessing the impact of SM testing by NGS in a real-life setting on the diagnosis and treatment of chronic myeloid malignancies (CMM).

Patients and Method

All patients who benefited from molecular assessment, between 10/2014 and 03/2019 in our University Hospital were included. All provided informed consent for data collection. All NGS requests were validated during a regional multidisciplinary concertation meeting. A custom targeted panel of 34 genes (145kbp i.e. ASXL1,BCOR, BCORL1, CBL, CSF3R, DNMT3A, ETV6, EZH2, GATA2, IDH1, IDH2, JAK2, KDM6A, KIT, KRAS, MPL, NPM1, NRAS, PIGA, PTEN, PTPN11, RAD21, RUNX1, SETBP1, SF3B1, SMC1A, SMC3, SRSF2, STAG2, TET2, TNFAIP3, TP53, U2AF1, ZRSR2) was applied on DNA extracted from peripheral blood or bone marrow samples. DNA libraries, built with the Haloplex® target enrichment protocol (Agilent Technologies, Santa Clara, CA), were paired-end sequenced (150bp reads) with a MiSeq® Instrument (Illumina, San Diego, CA). Data analysis used an in-house pipeline including three variant callings (GATK HaplotypeCaller, VarScan and SAMTools).

In a first group (A), NGS indication was to search for clonal hematopoiesis (CH), defined by the presence of at least one SM, in order to confirm or rule out a diagnosis of Idiopathic Cytopenia of Undetermined Significance (ICUS), Clonal Cytopenia of Undetermined Significance (CCUS), myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), mixed myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasm (MDS/MPN), aplastic anemia (AA)/hypoplastic myelodysplasia (hMDS) or myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN), based on recommendations of the WHO classification. In a second group (B), the theranostic impact of SM was studied. Prognostic SMs according to Bejar (2011) were used for MDS and MDS/MPN excluding chronic myelomonocytic leukemia that were analyzed with Itzykson score (2013) and/or CPSS-Mol score (Elena 2016). Prognostic SMs according to Vannucchi (2013) were used for myelofibrosis.


The median age of the cohort was 60 years old (range: 10-87) with a median follow up of 1.1 years from molecular assessment to last follow-up. Within group A (94 patients), the most frequent blood count anomalies were cytopenia (68%), thrombocytosis (16%), and monocytosis (13%). The karyotype was normal in 77% and failed in 5% of the cases. Non-specific abnormalities (i.e. loss of chr Y, del 20q), were found in 8% of the cases. Before molecular assessment, the diagnoses proposed were ICUS (n=37), suspicion of MDS/MPN (n=16), AA/hMDS (n=16), or MPN (n=25). CH was detected in 31 patients comforting the diagnosis of CMM for 33% of group A (8 CCUS, 3 MDS, 7 MDS/MPN, 6 medullary hypoplasia, 7 MPN) patients. Considering the patients for whom no CH was detected (n=63), the initial suspected diagnosis of CMM was ruled out in 47 patients (i.e. 50% of group A). For the 16 remaining (i.e. 17% of group A), no firm diagnosis could be retained.

Within group B (95 patients), NGS identified prognosis SM in 33% of the patients, i.e. poor prognosis SM in 24, including 8/40 MDS, 10/29 MDS/MPN and 6/17 myelofibrosis and good prognosis SM(SF3B1) in 7 of them, respectively 6/40 MDS and 1/29 MDS/MPN. Prognostic SMs had a therapeutic impact in 18/95 pts (19%). Indeed 13 patients with poor prognosis SM had a therapeutic change including 12 allogeneic stem-cell transplantation and 1 hypomethylating agent. Conversely, 5 patients with a good prognosis SM or absence of poor prognosis SM had a de-escalation of treatment intensity.


The use of NGS in daily practice had a clinical impact in both diagnostic and therapeutic decisions provided that the prescription is made in a critically explored context and not as a systematic test. In this "real life" cohort, the presence or absence of SM was a useful complement for integrated diagnoses in 83% of the patients, allowing to confirm (33%), or exclude (50%) a suspected condition. Moreover, in this cohort 34% of the patients had a SM with a reported prognostic impact and the treatment was modified in 19% of the cases. Yet, it remains necessary to integrate these results with other diagnostic criteria.


Peterlin:AbbVie Inc: Consultancy; Jazz Pharma: Consultancy; Astellas: Consultancy; Daiichi-Sankyo: Consultancy. Moreau:Janssen: Consultancy, Honoraria; Takeda: Consultancy, Honoraria; AbbVie: Consultancy, Honoraria; Celgene: Consultancy, Honoraria; Amgen: Consultancy, Honoraria. Le Gouill:Celgene: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: Travel support; Roche-Genentech: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: Travel support. Chevallier:Daiichi Sankyo: Honoraria; Incyte: Consultancy, Honoraria; Jazz Pharmaceuticals: Honoraria.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.