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Leukemia. 1995 Jul;9(7):1121-5.

All-trans retinoic acid and low-dose cytosine arabinoside for the treatment of 'poor prognosis' acute myeloid leukemia.

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  • 1Cattedra di Ematologia, Osp S Eugenio, Universit√† di Roma Tor Vergata, Italy.


Thirty-three patients with 'poor prognosis' acute myeloid leukemia, no longer suitable for aggressive chemotherapy, were treated with daily oral all-trans retinoic acid (45 mg/m2) daily and subcutaneous cytosine arabinoside (20 mg standard dose twice a day, day 1 to 10, every 4 weeks). Seventeen patients were males and 16 females, the median age was 67 (range 39-82 years). Eleven patients were at onset of disease, 15 were refractory to previous conventional therapies, three were in first relapse and three in second relapse and one patient had a secondary AML. Seventeen patients had a bone marrow blast infiltration < 50% and 16 > or = 50%. A total of 16 (48%) patients entered complete remission; the rate of complete remission increased to 88% in those patients (n = 17) with < 50% blast infiltration at the time of entering the study. Seventeen patients (52%) were resistant. The difference in response to therapy, according to bone marrow blast percentage (< or > or = 50%), was statistically significant (P < 0.001). Median duration of complete remission was 34.4 weeks (range 6.4-62.8). Mild to moderate hematologic toxicity was the most common side-effect. In conclusion all-trans retinoic acid and low-dose cytosine arabinoside appears to be an effective regimen for inducing complete remission in 'poor prognosis' acute myeloid leukemia and patients with < 50% bone marrow infiltration are likely to represent the ideal target to receive this combination therapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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