Managing acute promyelocytic leukemia without conventional chemotherapy: is it possible?
ABSTRACT The introduction of all-trans retinoic acid in 1985 combined with anthracycline-based chemotherapy has revolutionized the prognosis of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) with current complete response rates of more than 90% and cure rates of approximately 80%. The subsequent advent of arsenic trioxide in 1994 marked an additional milestone in APL treatment and has inspired the design of rationally targeted, chemotherapy-free front-line treatment regimens without compromising the excellent outcome achieved by anthracycline-containing protocols. APL is, therefore, a unique subtype of acute myeloid leukemia potentially curable with targeted therapies without any exposure to conventional DNA-damaging chemotherapy. Cure rates of APL can be further increased by implementing management strategies to reduce early hemorrhagic deaths, which remain the major cause of treatment failure with the current therapy.
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ABSTRACT: The use of all-trans-retinoic acid (atra) and anthracyclines (with or without cytarabine) in the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia (apl) has dramatically changed the management and outcome of the disease over the past few decades. The addition of arsenic trioxide (ato) in the relapsed setting-and, more recently, in reduced-chemotherapy or chemotherapy-free approaches in the first-line setting-continues to improve treatment outcomes by reducing some of the toxicities associated with anthracycline-based approaches. Despite those successes, a high rate of early death from complications of coagulopathy remains the primary cause of treatment failure before treatment begins. In addition to that pressing issue, clarity is needed about the use of ato in the first-line setting and the role of hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (hsct) in the relapsed setting. The aim for the present consensus was to provide guidance to health care professionals about strategies to reduce the early death rate, information on the indications for hsct and on the use of ato in induction and consolidation in low-to-intermediate-risk and high-risk apl patients.Current oncology (Toronto, Ont.). 10/2014; 21(5):234-50.
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ABSTRACT: Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is the most curable type of leukemia. A consensus exists regarding the need for administration of both induction and consolidation treatments, albeit using different approaches. However, there is conflicting evidence for the role of maintenance treatment in APL patients. To examine the efficacy and safety of maintenance therapy in APL patients and to establish the optimal regimen for maintenance. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2012, Issue 6), MEDLINE (January 1966 to July 2012), LILACS (1982 to July 2012), relevant conference proceedings (2000 to 2012) and databases of ongoing and unpublished trials. Randomized controlled trials assessing maintenance treatment in patients with newly diagnosed APL in first complete remission (CR) following induction or induction and consolidation therapy. Two review authors assessed the quality of trials and extracted data. We estimated and pooled hazard ratios (HR) and risk ratios (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) using the fixed-effect model. If significant heterogeneity was present we explored potential causes for such heterogeneity and if not found we used also the random-effects model. We included 10 randomized controlled trials enrolling 2072 patients in the systematic review, and conducted meta-analysis on nine of them. There was no statistically significant effect on overall survival (OS) in the three main comparisons (HR for any maintenance treatment versus observation 0.79, 95% CI 0.49 to 1.27; HR for all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA)-based maintenance versus non-ATRA based maintenance 1.21, 95% CI 0.73 to 1.98; HR for ATRA alone maintenance versus ATRA and chemotherapy 0.99, 95% CI 0.69 to 1.43). However, disease free survival (DFS) was improved with any maintenance therapy compared to observation (HR 0.59, 95% CI 0.48 to 0.74; 5 trials, 1209 patients) and with ATRA and chemotherapy compared to ATRA alone maintenance (HR for ATRA alone compared to ATRA and chemotherapy 1.38, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.76; 4 trials, 1028 patients). DFS was not improved with ATRA-based regimens compared to non-ATRA based regimens (HR 0.72, 95% CI 0.51 to 1.01; 4 trials, 670 patients). Analysis of clinically relevant adverse events could not be conducted due to paucity of data. Yet, increased reports of grade 3/4 adverse events were noted for any maintenance versus observation and for combined ATRA and chemotherapy versus ATRA alone treatment. The major limitation of this review lies in the variability between the included trials in both maintenance and pre-maintenance parameters. We tried to address this variability and to reduce its potential biases by conducting three separate main comparisons, as outlined above, leaving less statistical power to the presented results. Maintenance therapy compared to observation in APL patients improved DFS but not OS. Similarly, ATRA and chemotherapy compared to ATRA improved DFS but not OS. In contrast, ATRA based regimens compared to non-ATRA based regimens did not demonstrate a survival benefit. The significance of these findings is limited due to clinical heterogeneity between studies.Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 01/2013; 3:CD009594. · 5.94 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is characterized by uncontrolled proliferation of the cells of myeloid origin. It can present at all ages, but is more common in adults. It is one of the most common leukemias in adults and continues to pose significant challenge in diagnosis and long-term management.AML is a disease at the forefront of genetic and genomic approaches to medicine. It is a disease that has witnessed rapid advances in terms of diagnosis, classification, prognosis and ultimately individualized therapy. Newly diagnosed AML patients are now routinely stratified according to cytogenetics and molecular markers which guides long-term prognosis and treatment. On the other hand, with few exceptions, the initial treatment (also known as induction treatment) of AML has been 'one-size-fits-all'. It remains a great challenge for patients and physicians to consolidate and translate these advances into eventual success in clinic [1, 2].Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 01/2013; 779:405-37. · 2.01 Impact Factor