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Blood. 2013 Apr 18;121(16):3095-102. doi: 10.1182/blood-2012-11-466862. Epub 2013 Feb 14.

Phase 2 study of arsenic trioxide followed by autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation for relapsed acute promyelocytic leukemia.

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  • 1Fujita Health University School of Medicine, Toyoake 470-1192, Japan. myanada@fujita-hu.ac.jp


The optimal treatments for relapsed acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) remain equivocal. We conducted a phase 2 study to evaluate the efficacy and feasibility of a sequential treatment consisting of induction and consolidation with arsenic trioxide (ATO), peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) harvest after high-dose cytarabine chemotherapy, and autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Between 2005 and 2009, 35 patients (26 with hematologic and 9 with molecular relapse) were enrolled. Induction therapy resulted in complete remission in 81% of those with hematologic relapse, and most patients became negative for PML-RARĪ± after the first ATO consolidation course, but 4 remained positive. Administration of the second ATO consolidation course further decreased the transcript levels in 3 patients. In total, 25 patients proceeded to PBSC harvest, all of whom successfully achieved the target CD34+ cell doses, and 23 underwent autologous HCT with PML-RARĪ±-negative PBSC graft. Posttransplant relapse occurred in 3 patients, and there was no transplant-related mortality. With a median follow-up of 4.9 years, the 5-year event-free and overall survival rates were 65% and 77%, respectively. These findings demonstrate the outstanding efficacy and feasibility of the sequential treatment featuring ATO and autologous HCT for relapsed APL. This study was registered at http://www.umin.ac.jp/ctr/ as #C000000302.

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