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Am J Hematol. 2009 Nov;84(11):715-9. doi: 10.1002/ajh.21528.

Secondary clonal cytogenetic abnormalities following successful treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia.

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Victorian Cancer Cytogenetics Service, St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.

Erratum in

  • Am J Hematol. 2010 Jul;85(7):550.


To identify patients who developed secondary clonal cytogenetic aberrations (CCA) following therapy for acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), we retrospectively analyzed cytogenetic results from 123 patients diagnosed with APL between 1995 and 2007, who had ongoing cytogenetic analysis undertaken in our laboratory. During follow-up for APL we identified 12 patients (9.8%) who developed CCA, not detected at diagnosis of APL and unrelated to their original APL karyotype. All patients had received all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and chemotherapy and were in complete remission for APL when secondary CCA were identified. The median latency period between diagnosis of APL and emergence of secondary CCA was 27.5 months (range: 2-54 months). To date, four patients with CCA have been diagnosed with therapy-related myelodysplastic syndrome (t-MDS)/acute myeloid leukemia (t-AML), giving a median t-MDS/AML free survival of 78 months, with follow-up ranging between 20 and 136 months from APL diagnosis. Three patients have died: two patients died of t-AML and another developed relapsed APL with persistence of his secondary clone but no diagnosis of t-MDS/AML and died from transplant-related complications. Two patients are alive with t-MDS. Seven patients with CCA are alive with no morphological evidence of MDS at the time of their last known follow-up; thus median survival has not been reached. The appearance of these abnormalities in the absence of morphological evidence of MDS in the majority of patients is unusual, and highlights the importance of continued cytogenetic follow-up in these patients. Am. J. Hematol., 2009.

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