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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2011 Jun;46(6):820-6. doi: 10.1038/bmt.2010.207. Epub 2010 Sep 6.

Role of autotransplantation in the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia patients in remission: Fukuoka BMT Group observations and a literature review.

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Department of Hematology, Harasanshin Hospital, Fukuoka, Japan.


We retrospectively analyzed the outcomes of 26 patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) in the first CR (CR1) or second CR (CR2), who underwent autologous PBSCT (auto-PBSCT) between 1992 and 2008. All patients received all-trans retinoic acid-based induction therapy. After two courses of consolidation chemotherapy, upfront auto-PBSCT was performed in 20 patients in the CR1. Five patients had a high WBC count of more than 10 × 10(9)/L (high risk), while 15 patients had a count of less than 10 × 10(9)/L (low risk) at initial presentation. In addition, six patients, who were considered as low-risk patients at presentation, had a relapse after three cycles of consolidation and 2 years of maintenance therapy, but gained the molecular remission after re-induction and consolidation, and underwent auto-PBSCT in the CR2. In 26 recipients, engraftment was rapid and no TRM was documented. All 20 patients autotransplanted in CR1 were still in CR at a median of 133 months (73-193 months), and six patients who underwent auto-PBSCT in CR2 were also still in CR at a median of 41 months (2-187 months) without maintenance therapy. PML/RARα chimeric mRNA was undetectable in PBSC or BM samples examined before auto-PBSCT. Despite a small number of cases studied, our retrospective observations suggest that auto-PBSCT may be an effective treatment option to continue durable CR in the treatment of high-risk APL. We review previous reports and discuss the role of autotransplantation in the treatment of APL patients in CR.

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