Shahid Raza, Khalil Ullah, Parvez Ahmed, Badshah Khan.
Comparison of Anthracycline-based combination chemotherapy with or without all-trans retinoic acid in Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia.
J Coll Physicians Surg Pak Jan ;18(9):546-50.

Objective: To compare survival in Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APL) patients treated with or without All-Trans Retinoic Acid (ATRA). Study Design: Longitudinal, comparative study. Place and Duration of Study: The Armed Forces Bone Marrow Transplant Centre (AFBMTC), Rawalpindi, Pakistan from May 2001 to April 2007. Methodology: All consecutive newly diagnosed patients of acute promyelocytic leukemia, treated at Armed Forces Bone Marrow Transplant Centre, Rawalpindi, Pakistan, between May 2001 and April 2007, were included and given chemotherapy according to availability of ATRA. Diagnosis was confirmed on morphology/ karyotyping/ molecular analysis. Eligibility criteria included confirmed morphologic diagnosis and/or by demonstration of t(15;17) and/or PML/RARµ re-arrangement, no prior chemotherapy, normal hepatic and renal function, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0 - 2 and no contraindications to ATRA (history of sensitivity to Vit. A or other retinoids). All patients having history of cardiac failure (LVEF < 50) and arrhythmias, ECOG performance status 3 and 4, relapse / refractory disease, ALT twice normal values, serum creatinine > 150 µmol/L and pregnancy were excluded from this study. Survival was calculated from the date of chemotherapy to death or last follow-up according to Kaplan-Meier and Cox (Proportional hazard) regression analysis methods. Results: During the 6 years study period, 31 newly diagnosed patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia received treatment at AFBMTC. Seventeen patients received anthracycline-based remission induction and consolidation chemotherapy, while 14 received ATRA-based remission induction, consolidation and by two years maintenance therapy. Overall Survival (OS), Disease Free Survival (DFS) and mortality were 29.4%, 29.4% and 70.6% respectively in 17 patients who received anthracycline based chemotherapy, whereas in patients who received ATRA-based chemotherapy OS, DFS and mortality was 71.4%, 64.2% and 28.6% respectively. Major causes of mortality were septicemia and chemotherapy related toxicity. Conclusion: Response to ATRA-based chemotherapy in patient cohort was better as compared with anthracycline based chemotherapy (71.4% vs. 29.4%) in terms of survival and mortality.

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