Imatinib mesylate is effective in the treatment of hematologic malignancies that are characterized by either abl- or PDGFRβ-activating mutations. The drug is also active in a subset of patients with eosinophilic disorders and systemic mast cell disease (SMCD). Recently, a novel tyrosine kinase that is generated from fusion of the Fip1-like 1 (FIP1L1) and PDGFRα (PDGFRA) genes has been identified as a therapeutic target for imatinib mesylate in hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES). We used fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to detect deletion of the CHIC2 locus at 4q12 as a surrogate for the FIP1L1-PDGFRA fusion. CHIC2 deletion was observed in bone marrow cells for 3 of 5 patients with SMCD associated with eosinophilia. Deletion of this locus and expression of the FIP1L1-platelet-derived growth factor receptor α (PDGFRA) fusion was also documented in enriched eosinophils, neutrophils, or mononuclear cells by both FISH and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for one patient. While all 3 patients with the FIP1L1-PDGFRA rearrangement achieved a sustained complete response with imatinib mesylate therapy, the other two, both carrying the c-kit Asp816 to Val (Asp816Val) mutation, did not. These observations suggest that the FIP1L1-PDGFRA rearrangement occurs in an early hematopoietic progenitor and suggests that the molecular pathogenesis for a subset of SMCD patients is similar to that of HES. Screening for the FIP1L1-PDGFRA rearrangement and Asp816Val mutation will advance rational therapy decisions in SMCD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology