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Lancet. 1992 Dec 12;340(8833):1437-8.

Molecular evaluation of residual disease as a predictor of relapse in acute promyelocytic leukaemia.

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University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.


Acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL) is characterised by a unique fusion transcript, PML/RAR alpha. We tested for this transcript in 35 APL patients who were in apparent remission after various treatments. 11 of 13 patients who tested positive 4 months after achieving remission were in relapse 1-4 months later. All 22 patients who tested negative at 4 months were disease-free after a further 3 months to five years. The test may therefore prove useful in determining the need for additional treatment during clinical remission.

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