Tretinoin plus arsenic trioxide: front-line therapy for APL

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Long-term survival is significantly increased by treatment with tretinoin [all-trans retinoic acid] plus arsenic trioxide in patients with newly diagnosed acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL), according to data presented at the 48th Annual Meeting and Exposition of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) [Orlando, Florida, US; December 2006]. Conducted in China, this study compared survival data for a cohort of 60 patients treated with tretinoin plus arsenic trioxide since April 2001 with data obtained from a cohort of 56 historical controls who had received tretinoin with post-remission chemotherapy with or without tretinoin between May 1998 and March 2001. Both overall survival and event-free survival, the two long-term outcomes assessed, were significantly improved in patients receiving front-line combination therapy. Molecular remission was also obtained and maintained in patients treated with tretinoin in combination with arsenic trioxide.

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