What are the treatment options for acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL)?

Updated: May 26, 2020
  • Author: Karen Seiter, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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n a US Intergroup study, 346 patients with previously untreated APL received either ATRA or daunorubicin plus cytarabine as induction therapy [89] . Patients in remission then received a second cycle of the same therapy as their induction, followed by one cycle of high-dose cytarabine plus daunorubicin. Patients then underwent a second randomization to either ATRA maintenance or observation. In this study ATRA as either induction or maintenance improved disease-free and overall survival compared with chemotherapy (3 year overall survival 67% for ATRA versus 55% for chemotherapy (P=0.003). Using this approach, as many as 70% of these patients are long-term survivors. [90]

European groups proposed that cytarabine was not necessary in induction therapy for newly diagnosed patients. [91] The GIMEMA AIDA regimen (ie, ATRA 45 mg/m2 daily combined with idarubicin 12 mg/m2 on days 2, 4, 6, and 8 until remission) yielded remissions in 95% of patients.

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