Summary: The clinical characteristics, treatment options and outcomes in patients with acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL) and hyperleucocytosis remain poorly defined. This study reviewed 242 consecutive patients with APL; 29 patients (12%) had a white blood cell count (WBC) ≥ 50 × 109/l at presentation (median WBC 85·5 × 109/l). Patients with hyperleucocytosis had inferior complete remission (CR) rates (69% vs. 88%; P = 0·004) and higher 4-week mortality (24% vs. 9%; P = 0·018) compared to patients without hyperleucocytosis. We noted a trend towards inferior 3-year disease-free survival (DFS) (69% vs. 80%; P = 0·057) and inferior 3-year overall survival (OS) (74% vs. 92%; P = 0·2) for patients with hyperleucocytosis. Leukapheresis was performed in 11 (38%) of the 29 patients with hyperleucocytosis. CR rate and 3-year OS were not significantly improved in patients who received leukapheresis. CR rate and 3-year OS for the 15 patients with hyperleucocytosis treated with all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) plus arsenic trioxide (ATO) plus cytotoxic therapy (idarubicin or gemtuzumab ozogamicin) combinations were 100% and 100% vs. 57% and 35% for the 14 patients treated with non-ATRA/ATO combinations (P = 0·004 and P = 0·002). Leukapheresis does not improve the outcomes in patients with APL presenting with hyperleucocytosis. ATRA/ATO-based combinations are superior to other regimens in these patients.
- Acute promyelocytic leukaemia
- All-trans retinoic acid
ASJC Scopus subject areas