How is acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) treated in elderly patients?

Updated: May 03, 2019
  • Author: Sandy D Kotiah, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Although APL in patients older than 60 years is sensitive to chemotherapy, these patients have higher death rates in complete remission. [43, 44] The PETHEMA group omitted one dose of idarubicin for induction chemotherapy in patients older than age 70 years. In the European APL93 trial, 18.6% of elderly patients with APL died, mainly from sepsis, during consolidation or maintenance treatment.

Although these patients can be treated with ATRA and a less intensive dose of chemotherapy, the consolidation regimen should be altered to liposomal ATRA or ATO. These drugs can also be used in combination.

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