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Leukemia. 2009 Dec;23(12):2248-58. doi: 10.1038/leu.2009.183. Epub 2009 Sep 10.

High dose ara-C in the treatment of newly diagnosed acute promyelocytic leukemia: long-term results of the German AMLCG.


The objective of this study for newly diagnosed acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) was to evaluate the efficacy of an intensified double induction chemotherapy including high dose ara-C (HD) and all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) followed by consolidation and 3 years maintenance therapy. In contrast to APL studies stratifying therapy according to pretreatment white blood cell (WBC) count < and > or =10 x 10(9)/l (low/intermediate and high risk according to the Sanz score), our patients received uniform therapy. From 1994 to 2005, 142 patients (age, 16-60 years) were enrolled. In the low/intermediate (n=105) vs high (n=37) WBC group, the rates of complete remission were 95.2 vs 83.8%, of induction death were 4.8 vs 16.2% (P=0.05) and of molecular remission were 87.5 vs 91.3% (P=1). Long-term overall survival was 84.4 vs 73.0% (P=0.12), event free survival was 78.3 vs 67.3% (P=0.11), relapse free survival was 82.1 vs 80.0% (P=0.83) and the cumulative incidence of relapse was 7.4 vs 11.4% (P=0.46). No relapse or death occurred after 4.7 years. ATRA and intensified chemotherapy including HD ara-C followed by prolonged maintenance therapy reduced the relapse risk in high risk patients. Pretreatment WBC count > or =10 x 10(9)/l count was no relevant prognostic factor for relapse.

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