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Ther Adv Hematol. 2011 Jun;2(3):141-5. doi: 10.1177/2040620711408490.

High Prevalence of Obesity in Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APL): Implications for Differentiating Agents in APL and Metabolic Syndrome.

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1
Department of Pathology, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Between January 1999 and December 2008, 469 patients treated for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) were included in this single-institution study.

METHODS:

We performed a case-control analysis to study the rate of obesity among patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) and non-APL AML.

RESULTS:

A total of 81% of APL patients analyzed were obese compared with 41.7% in the non-APL group (p < 0.001). Body mass index (BMI) >30 was seen in 57% of APL patients compared with 31% for the non-APL group (p = 0.01). Neither obesity nor the chemotherapy dosing based on ideal body weight affected survival.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings generate the hypothesis that APL and metabolic syndromes may share a common pathogenic pathway via retinoic acid receptors (RARs), the ligand-controlled transcription factors that function as heterodimers with retinoid X receptors (RXRs) to regulate cell growth and survival. If this link is confirmed in larger studies, our data will instigate further studies using RXR and RAR modulators as a preventive strategy among obese individuals.

KEYWORDS:

RAR; RXR; acute promyelocytic leukemia; body mass index; obesity; prevention

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