The translocation t(8;21)(q22;q22) is one of the most frequent chromosomal abnormalities associated with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) sub type M2. About 3–5% of cases with additional chromosomal abnormalities, including structural and numerical ones, are reported to include a complex translocation t(8;21;N).
Here we report a chromosome rearrangement observed in a 19 years-old female diagnosed with AML-M2. When subjected to (molecular) cytogenetic analyses a complex three-way translocation involving chromosomes 8, 17 and 21 was detected, forming not a t(8;21;17) as one would expect. Real time-polymerase chain reaction analysis using 6 AML specific markers showed the presence of RUNX1/RUNX1T1 fusion gene transcripts identical to those found in classical translocation t(8;21) coupled with presence of FLT3-ITD mutation identified by fragment analysis.
The present case highlights importance of complex rearrangements rarely encountered in AML, suggesting that all involved regions harbor critical candidate genes regulating the pathogenesis of AML, leading to novel as well as well-known leukemia associated chromosomal aberrations.