What is acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL)?

Updated: May 03, 2019
  • Author: Sandy D Kotiah, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is a is a unique subtype of acute leukemia characterized by abnormal proliferation of promyelocytes, life-threatening coagulopathy, and the chromosome translocation t(15;17)(q22;q11-12). The discovery and elucidation of the molecular pathogenesis for APL has led to the introduction of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and arsenic trioxide (ATO) therapies, which improved the prognosis of APL patients significantly.

See the images below.

Hypogranular subtype of acute promyelocytic leukem Hypogranular subtype of acute promyelocytic leukemia. Image courtesy of Dr. William Kocher.

 

 

Regularly hypergranular subtype of acute promyeloc Regularly hypergranular subtype of acute promyelocytic leukemia. Image courtesy of Dr. William Kocher.

For patient education information, see the Cancer Center, as well as Leukemia. In addition, patients should visit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Web page, www.leukemia-lymphoma.org, for further information.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!