Current treatment strategy of acute promyelocytic leukemia.

Department of Hematology, Shanghai Institute of Hematology, Rui-Jin Hospital, Shanghai JiaoTong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China.
Frontiers of medicine 12/2011; 5(4):341-7. DOI: 10.1007/s11684-011-0169-z
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is a unique subtype of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The prognosis of APL has changed from the worst among the AMLs to currently the best. The application of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) in the induction therapy of APL decreases the high mortality of newly diagnosed patients, thereby significantly improving the response rate. ATRA combined with anthracycline-based chemotherapy is the current standard treatment, and for high-risk patients, high doses cytarabine have a beneficial effect on relapse prevention. In recent years, the indications of arsenic trioxide (ATO) therapy for APL have been extended from the salvage therapy for relapse patients to the first-line treatment of de novo APL. The introduction of both ATRA and ATO represents great achievements in translational medicine. In this review article, we discuss the therapeutic strategies for this disease, including the initial approaches to newly diagnosed patients, prevention, and treatment of side effects and relapse to ensure the best and timely treatment for each newly diagnosed APL patient.

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