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Background: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) accounts for 25%-35% of the acute leukemia in children. BAALC (Brain and Acute Leukemia, Cytoplasmic gene) is a recently identified gene on chromosome 8q22.3 that has prognostic significance in AML. The aim of this work was to study the impact of BAALC gene expression on prognosis of AML in Egyptian children. Patients and methods: This study was conducted on 40 patients of newly diagnosed AML who were subjected to the following: Full history taking, clinical examination, laboratory investigations including: complete blood count, LDH, bone marrow aspiration, cytochemistry and immunophenotyping, assessment of BAALC Gene by real time PCR in bone marrow aspirate mononuclear cells before the start of chemotherapy. Results: BAALC gene expression showed positive expression in 24 cases (60%) and negative expression in 16 cases (40%). Patients who showed positive BAALC gene expression included 10 patients achieved complete remission, 8 patients died and 6 relapsed patients, while patients who showed negative expression include 12 patients achieved complete remission, 1 relapsed patient and 3 patients died. There was significant association between BAALC gene expression and FAB classification of patients of AML patientsas positive BAALC expression is predominantly seen in FAB subtypes M1 and M2 compared with negative BAALC gene expression that was found more in M3 and M4 (8 cases with M1, 12 cases with M2, 1 case with M3 and 3 cases with M4 in positive BAALC expression versus 2 cases with M1, 3 cases with M2, 4 cases with M3 and 7 cases with M4 in BAALC gene negative expression group with significant difference regarding FAB subtypes). As regard age, sex, splenomegaly, lymphadenopathy, pallor, purpura, platelets count, WBCs count, and percentage of blast cells in BM, the present study showed no significant association with BAALC. Conclusion: BAALC expression is an important prognostic factor in AML patients and its incorporation into novel risk-adapted therapeutic strategies will improve the currently disappointing cure rate of this group of patients.
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