HARMONY Alliance Research Project title: The impact of gender on genetic aberrations and clinical outcome in Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
The incidence and treatment outcomes of cancer, including Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), have shown to differ between genders. AML with antecedent hematological disease was shown to be more common in males, while treatment-related AML occurs more often in women. Furthermore, men presented inferior overall survival compared to women in a multivariate analysis and have shown different responses to some therapies. Despite this, the gender of cancer patients is rarely taken into consideration in clinical practice. The evidence base pointing to the contribution of biological factors is growing, but these factors are poorly characterized and studies which address gender-related differences are limited. Therefore, there is an unmet need for large-scale studies which specifically focus on gender-associated differences between patients with hematological malignancies.
"At the moment there are no treatment differences between the genders, although there are indications that there are (subtle) differences. With this large dataset, we have the unique opportunity to further explore these differences.Due to the amount of patient in the HARMONY Alliance Big Data Platform, we are able to find differences in subpopulations which can be used to tailor the treatment for specific patients”.
The current project will identify and evaluate gender-related differences in genetic and clinical features of a large cohort of AML patients within the HARMONY consortium. Additionally, the project will investigate if targeted treatment varies between men and women. A dataset of 5,000 characterized samples will be split by subgroup (gender) and analyzed. Overall, the study will consist of three key steps:
This project will be the largest up-to-date study (to our knowledge) which will focus specifically on gender-related differences in AML. The over-arching goal is to identify gender-related genetic and clinical differences, potentially leading to improvements in the gender-specific treatment of AML patients.