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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2009 Nov;15(11):1479-84. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2009.07.010. Epub 2009 Sep 1.

Comparison of clinical outcomes of patients with relapsed acute promyelocytic leukemia induced with arsenic trioxide and consolidated with either an autologous stem cell transplant or an arsenic trioxide-based regimen.

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Department of Haematology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India.


In patients with relapsed acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), the best consolidation regimen following induction of remission with arsenic trioxide (ATO) remains to be defined. Since January 2000, 37 patients with relapsed APL were treated at our center. The median age was 34 years (range, 6-57 years), and there were 20 males (54.1%). The median duration of first remission was 20.3 months (range, 2.9-81.2 months). Relapse was treated with single-agent ATO in 22 patients (59.5%), ATO+ATRA in 5 patients (13.5%), and ATO+ATRA + anthracycline in 10 patients (27%). Thirty-three patients (89%) achieved molecular remission after induction and a consolidation course. Fourteen patients opted to undergo autologous stem cell transplantation (SCT), and the remaining 19 patients received monthly cycles of ATO as a single agent (n=13) or ATO+ATRA (n=6) for 6 months. At a median follow-up of 32 months, the 5-year Kaplan-Meier estimate of event-free survival (EFS) was 83.33% +/- 15.21% in those who underwent autologous SCT versus 34.45% +/- 11.24% in those who did not (P=.001; log-rank test). Following remission induction with ATO-based regimens in patients with relapsed APL, consolidation with autologous SCT is associated with a significantly superior clinical outcome compared with ATO- and ATO+ATRA-based maintenance regimens.

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