We stratified patients with newly diagnosed acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) according to a white blood cell (WBC) count of ≥ 3 × 109/L (high risk) or < 3 × 109/L (low risk) before administering risk-adapted chemotherapy in combination with all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA). In total, 27 low-risk and 23 high-risk patients were assigned to receive induction and three courses of consolidation with ATRA and anthracycline, followed by 2-year maintenance regimen. High-risk group additionally received cytarabine during 1st consolidation and another one-shot idarubicin treatment during 3rd consolidation. We prospectively monitored measurable residual disease (MRD) after induction and each consolidation. In the low-risk and high-risk groups, 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) rates were 86.5% and 81.2% (p = 0.862), and 5-year overall survival rates were 100% and 84.8% (p = 0.062), respectively. In the MRD-negative and MRD-positive groups, 5-year DFS rates were 91.7% and 78.4% (p = 0.402) and 84.7% and 60.0% (p = 0.102) after induction and 1st consolidation, respectively. Relapse rates were 8.3% and 13.3% (p = 0.570) and 9.0% and 40.0% (p = 0.076) after induction and 1st consolidation, respectively. Achieving MRD-negativity after 1st consolidation, rather than after induction, was a potential predictor of relapse and DFS in patients with APL treated with ATRA + chemotherapy.
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