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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Acute promyelocytic leukemia


Other Names for this Disease
  • Acute myeloblastic leukemia type 3
  • Acute myeloid leukemia with t(15;17)(q22;q12);(PML/RARalpha) and variants
  • AML M3
  • AML with t(15;17)(q22;q12);(PML/RARalpha) and variants
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Your Question

My husband passed away rather suddenly from APL in 2009. I was reading that the translocation occurs after conception. I have two young boys and although I know it is not inherited, I would like to know if there is a way to test if the translocation has occurred.

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

Is acute promyelocytic leukemia inherited?

Acute promyelocytic leukemia is not inherited. The condition arises from a translocation in some of the body's cells (somatic cells) that occurs after conception.[1] This is referred to as a somatic mutation. Somatic mutations may affect the individual by causing cancers or other diseases, but they are not passed on to offspring.[1]
Last updated: 2/6/2012

Is predictive genetic testing available for acute promyelocytic leukemia?

We were unable to locate information about the availability of predictive testing for acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). Predictive genetic testing is primarily an option for individuals at risk for inherited cancers and other inherited disorders; APL is not an inherited cancer. Predictive genetic tests are generally available if a close family member has had a genetic test which has identified a specific mutation that is associated with an inherited predisposition to cancer.[2] APL is caused by a somatic mutation which is acquired during a person's lifetime and is not passed on to children. Furthermore, it is not necessarily known when during a person's lifetime a somatic mutation might occur.

Individuals that are interested in learning more about predictive testing for a particular type of cancer should speak with a genetics professional.
Last updated: 2/6/2012

How can I find a genetics professional in my area?

To find a medical professional who specializes in genetics, you can ask your doctor for a referral or you can search for one yourself. Online directories are provided by GeneTests, the American College of Medical Genetics, and the National Society of Genetic Counselors. If you need additional help, contact a GARD Information Specialist. You can also learn more about genetic consultations from Genetics Home Reference.
Last updated: 7/15/2016

References
Other Names for this Disease
  • Acute myeloblastic leukemia type 3
  • Acute myeloid leukemia with t(15;17)(q22;q12);(PML/RARalpha) and variants
  • AML M3
  • AML with t(15;17)(q22;q12);(PML/RARalpha) and variants
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.