Contemporary treatment of APL

Elizabeth H. Cull*, Jessica K. Altman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is characterized by coagulopathy, leukopenic presentation and sensitivity to anthracyclines, all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and arsenic trioxide (ATO). For the last 25 years, APL has been treated with a combination of ATRA and chemotherapy for induction followed by consolidation and maintenance therapy. This general treatment approach has resulted in cure rates of 80-90 %. ATO, originally approved in relapsed APL, has been incorporated into contemporary upfront treatment regimens with excellent response rates. Recent studies show that most patients with APL can be cured with ATRA and ATO alone, eliminating cytotoxic chemotherapy and resulting in superior outcomes compared to standard treatment. We will herein review historical treatment of APL, treatment considerations in specific patient populations, and therapeutic updates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-201
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Hematologic Malignancy Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Acute promyelocytic leukemia
  • All-trans retinoic acid
  • Arsenic trioxide
  • Early death rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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