Medical Policy: 02.04.66
Original Effective Date: May 2017
Reviewed: May 2017
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This Medical Policy document describes the status of medical technology at the time the document was developed. Since that time, new technology may have emerged or new medical literature may have been published. This Medical Policy will be reviewed regularly and be updated as scientific and medical literature becomes available.
Treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is based on risk stratification, primarily related to patient age and tumor cytogenetics. AML has a highly heterogeneous clinical course, and treatment generally depends on the different risk-stratification categories. Depending on the risk-stratification category, treatment modalities may include intensive remission induction chemotherapy, hypomethylating agents, clinical trials with innovative compounds, palliative cytotoxic treatment, new medication regimes, or supportive care only. For patients who achieve complete remission (CR) after induction treatment, possible postremission treatment options include intensive consolidation therapy, maintenance therapy, or autologous or allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant. In patients with cytogenetically normal AML, the identification of variants in several genes, including FLT3, NPM1, and CEBPA, has been proposed to allow for further segregation in the management of this heterogeneous disease.
The most recent World Health Organization (WHO) classification (2016) reflects the increasing number of acute leukemias that can be categorized based on underlying cytogenetic abnormalities (ie, at the level of the chromosome including chromosomal translocations or deletions) or molecular genetic abnormalities (ie, at the level of the function of individual genes, including gene variants). These cytogenetic and molecular changes form distinct clinico-pathologic-genetic entities with diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic implications. Conventional cytogenetic analysis (karyotyping) is considered to be a mandatory component in the diagnostic evaluation of a patient with suspected acute leukemia, because the cytogenetic profile of the tumor is considered to be the most powerful predictor of prognosis in AML and is used to guide the current risk-adapted treatment strategies.
Molecular variants have been analyzed to subdivide AML with normal cytogenetics into prognostic subsets. In AML, 3 of the most frequent molecular changes with prognostic impact are variants of CEBPA, encoding a transcription factor, variants of the FLT3 gene, encoding a receptor of tyrosine kinase involved in hematopoiesis, and variant of the NPM1 gene, encoding a shuttle protein within the nucleolus. “AML with mutated NPM1 or CEBPA” were included as categories in the 2016 WHO classification of acute leukemias. AML with FLT3 variants is not considered a distinct entity in the 2016 classification. The 2008 WHO classification recommends determining the presence of FLT3 variants because of the prognostic significance.
For individuals who have cytogenetically normal AML who receive genetic testing for variants in FLT3, NPM1, CEBPA to risk-stratify AML, the evidence includes retrospective observational studies and systematic reviews of these studies. Relevant outcomes are overall survival, disease-specific survival, test accuracy and validity, and treatment-related mortality and morbidity. FLT3 internal tandem duplication (FLT3-ITD) variants confer a poor prognosis, whereas NPM1 (without FLT3-ITD variant) and biallelic CEBPA variants confer a favorable prognosis. The prognostic effect of FLT3 tyrosine kinase domain variants is uncertain. Data have suggested an overall survival benefit with transplantation for patients with FLT3-ITD, but do not clearly demonstrate an overall survival benefit of transplantation for patients with NPM1 and CEBPA variants.
Major professional societies and practice guidelines have recommended testing for these variants to risk-stratify and to inform treatment management decisions, including possible hematopoietic cell transplant, treatment intensity, and medication selection. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved Rydapt (midostaurin) for the treatment of adult patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who have a specific genetic mutation (FLT3), in combination with chemotherapy.
Network Current National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines for acute myeloid leukemia (AML)13 (v1.2017) provide the following recommendations:
For the evaluation for acute leukemia, “bone marrow with cytogenetics (karyotype FISH [fluorescence in situ hybridization]) and molecular analyses (KIT, FLT3-ITD, NPM1, CEBPA, and other mutations).”
“Molecular abnormalities (KIT, FLT3-ITD, NPM1, CEBPA, and other mutations) are important for prognostication in a subset of patients (category 2A) and may guide therapeutic intervention (category 2B). These are useful for patients with normal karyotype (especially FLT3-ITD, NPM1 mutations) or core binding factor leukemia (especially KIT mutation).”
Genetic testing for FLT3 internal tandem duplication (FLT3-ITD), NPM1, and CEBPA variants may be considered medically necessary in cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia
Genetic testing for FLT3 internal tandem duplication (FLT3-ITD), NPM1, and CEBPA variants is considered investigational in all other situations.
Genetic testing for FLT3 tyrosine kinase domain (FLT3-TKD) variants is considered investigational.
Genetic testing for FLT3, NPM1, and CEBPA variants to detect minimal residual disease is considered investigational.
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May 2017 - New Policy
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