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Standardized Treatment Guidelines Reduce Induction Mortality in APL

December 18, 2020

Induction mortality in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) can be reduced by using standard treatment guidelines, according to a recent study in JCO Oncology Practice (2020;OP2000395. doi:10.1200/OP.20.00395).

APL is a curable leukemia, and population-based studies show long-term survival rates of 62% and 65.7%.

Researchers developed a simplified algorithm to focus on prevention and early treatment of the main causes of death in a prospective, multicenter trial. Oncologists were educated about early deaths, and experts discussed treatment plans with physicians.

The study, conducted between September 2013 and April 2016, included 120 patients. The median age was 52.5 years with 39% > 60 years and 25% with an age-adjusted comorbidity index > 4. Of 118 evaluable patients, 8.5% had an early mortality. At the 27.3 month median follow-up, the overall survival was 84.5%.

“Induction mortality can be decreased and population-wide survival improved in APL with the use of standardized treatment guidelines,” concluded Anand Jillella, MD, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University (Augusta, GA) and colleagues. “Support from experts who have more experience with induction therapy is crucial and helps to improve the outcomes.”—Lisa Kuhns

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