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Ann Hematol. 1999 Jul;78(7):329-32.

Successful treatment with arsenic trioxide of a patient with ATRA-resistant relapse of acute promyelocytic leukemia.

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University of Vienna, Department of Internal Medicine I, Austria.


Arsenic trioxide has recently been introduced as a promising new agent to treat refractory acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). In the present study, arsenic trioxide was given intravenously for 42 days to a 56-year-old female patient suffering from chemotherapy/ATRA-resistant APL, with 43% APL blasts in the bone marrow and elevated D-dimers. During the first days of arsenic trioxide treatment a rapid decrease in the D-dimers was seen (normal values reached until day 7), together with a slight decrease in peripheral blood leukocytes. This initial coagulation response was followed by a second phase of hematological response (starting on days 15-20) characterized by leukocytosis, occurrence of myeloid progenitor cells in the peripheral blood, and a decrease in bone marrow blasts (<1% on days 28 and 36). Finally, the patient entered complete hematological and cytogenetic remission, although the PML-RAR alpha fusion product was still detectable by PCR. These data confirm the therapeutic value of arsenic trioxide in relapsed/resistant APL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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