Clinical and biological characteristics of acute promyelocytic leukemia in Taiwan: A high relapse rate in patients with high initial and peak white blood cell counts during all-trans-retinoic acid treatment

W. C. Chou, J. L. Tang, M. Yao, Y. J. Liang, F. Y. Lee, M. T. Lin, C. H. Wang, M. C. Shen, Y. C. Chen, H. F. Tien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) patients treated with all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and chemotherapy have been shown to have better outcome than those treated with conventional chemotherapy alone. However, the biological characteristics of leukemic cells and their clinical implications in patients treated with ATRA have not been well established. In this study, the biological and clinical features of 30 APL patients were reported. The risk factors for relapse and for occurrence of retinoic acid (RA) syndrome, which might cause morbidity or mortality of patients after ATRA treatment, were also analyzed. All patients showed 15;17 translocation by cytogenetic and/or gene analysis. Patients in this study had higher white blood cell (WBC) counts and a higher incidence of additional abnormalities than those from other areas. The ratio of long (L) form to short (S) form PML-RARα fusion transcript was 1.8:1, a value lower than that of Latino patients but higher than that of Italians. Leukemic cells from four patients showed coexpression of T cell-associated antigen CD2 which was highly correlated with S form fusion transcript. Nine (36%) of the 25 patients treated with ATRA developed RA syndrome; all but one were successfully controlled by corticosteroid. Complete remission (CR) rate was 84%. Patients with high WBC counts tended to develop RA syndrome and had increased risk of relapse. Isochromosome for the long arm of the derivative chromosome 17, ider(17q), as an additional chromosomal abnormality was also associated with poor outcome in this study. In conclusion, APL in this study showed some different biological characteristics compared with those reported in other areas. High WBC count was a risk factor for relapse and development of RA syndrome after ATRA treatment. The prognostic implication of the presence of ider(l7q) needs further clarification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-928
Number of pages8
JournalLeukemia
Volume11
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Acute promyelocytic leukemia
  • All-trans retinoic acid
  • PML-RARα fusion transcript
  • Retinoic acid syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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