Long Term Outcome of Patients with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia: The Role of Maintenance Therapy, Consolidation Therapy and the Predictive Value of Twoin vitroAssays
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Three successive strategies used to treat acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) patients who entered complete remission are compared with respect to their long term efficacy (> 5 years). Additionally, the ability of two in vitro assays to identify patients who would be long term remitters was assessed. With respect to the proportion of patients in long term remission, 5 years of maintenance therapy, intensive consolidation therapy plus 3 years of additional therapy, and 4 courses of consolidation therapy produced equivalent results with 18 to 22% of patients in remission at 7 years. Patients whose leukemia cells retained high levels of cytosine arabinoside triphosphate (araCTP) and who received maintenance therapy were less likely to experience early relapse than comparably treated patients whose leukemia cells failed to retain araCTP. The failure of leukemia cells to clone in vitro was also associated with a lower early relapse rate for patients who received maintenance therapy. Neither the ability of leukemia cells to retain araCTP nor their ability to clone in vitro were of prognostic significance for patients treated with 4 courses of intensive consolidation therapy.
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