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Posted by on Oct 14, 2018 in Leukemia | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study looked at the safety and effectiveness of arsenic trioxide (Trisenox; ATO) and all-trans-retinoic acid (Vesanoid; ATRA) in the treatment of relapsed (cancer return) acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). Researchers found that long-term ATO-ATRA treatment may improve the outcomes of these patients.

Some background

Acute promyelocytic leukemia is a cancer of the bone marrow. It leads to abnormal immune cells. It is often treated with powerful medications that can have many side effects. Patients can stop responding to this treatment over time (refractory) or symptoms of the disease can return after treatment (relapse). ATO-ATRA treatment has proven effective for untreated patients with APL. The safety and effectiveness of this treatment for patients who have relapsed are currently unknown. 

Methods & findings

22 patients with APL were treated with ATRA-ATO therapy at the time of disease relapse. Patients were followed up for an average of 58 months.

20 (90%) patients achieved complete remission (no signs of disease) after 2 cycles of ATRA-ATO treatment. The overall survival after 4-years was 85%. Survival without signs of disease was 74%. Two patients were resistant to ATRA-ATO therapy and 5 relapsed after an average of 19 months.

The bottom line

The study concluded that ATRA-ATO therapy was effective in the treatment of relapsed APL.

The fine print

With only 22 patients, this study requires a larger number of patients to confirm these findings.

What’s next?

Talk to your doctor about using ATRA-ATO therapy for APL.

Published By :

Annals of Hematology

Date :

Oct 01, 2018

Original Title :

Prolonged treatment with arsenic trioxide (ATO) and all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) for relapsed acute promyelocytic leukemia previously treated with ATRA and chemotherapy.

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