Disease overview: Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) is a clonal hematopoietic stem cell disorder with overlapping features of myelodysplastic syndromes and myeloproliferative neoplasms, with an inherent risk for leukemic transformation (~15% over 3-5 years). Diagnosis: Diagnosis is based on the presence of sustained (>3 months) peripheral blood monocytosis (≥1 × 109/L; monocytes ≥10%), along with bone marrow dysplasia. Clonal cytogenetic abnormalities occur in ~ 30% of patients, while >90% have gene mutations. Mutations involving TET2 (~60%), SRSF2 (~50%), ASXL1 (~40%) and the oncogenic RAS pathway (~30%) are frequent; while the presence of ASXL1 and DNMT3A mutations and the absence of TET2 mutations negatively impact over-all survival. Risk stratification: Molecularly integrated prognostic models include; the Groupe Français des Myélodysplasies (GFM), Mayo Molecular Model (MMM) and the CMML specific prognostic model (CPSS-Mol). Risk factors incorporated into the MMM include presence of nonsense or frameshift ASXL1 mutations, absolute monocyte count>10 × 109/L, hemoglobin <10 g/dL, platelet count <100 × 109/L and the presence of circulating immature myeloid cells. The MMM stratifies CMML patients into four groups; high (≥3 risk factors), intermediate-2 (2 risk factors), intermediate-1 (1 risk factor) and low (no risk factors), with median survivals of 16, 31, 59 and 97 months, respectively. Risk-adapted therapy: Hypomethylating agents such as 5-azacitidine and decitabine are commonly used, with overall response rates of ~40%-50% and complete remission rates of ~7%-17%; with no impact on mutational allele burdens. Allogeneic stem cell transplant is the only potentially curative option, but is associated with significant morbidity and mortality.
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