Presenting features and treatment outcome of acute promyelocytic leukemia arising after multiple sclerosis

Emanuele Ammatuna, Pau Montesinos, Syed Khizer Hasan, Safaa M. Ramadan, Jordi Esteve, Maximillian Hubmann, Maria Pagoni, David Grimwade, Miguel Angel Sanz, Francesco Lo-Coco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report the clinical features and treatment outcome of 33 patients with multiple sclerosis who developed acute promyelocytic leukemia. Thirty patients were previously exposed to mitoxantrone. The median latency period between treatment initiation and acute promyelocytic leukemia diagnosis was 32 months. The PML-RARA bcr1 isoform was identified in 87% of cases. Twenty-nine (90%) patients achieved hematologic remission after all-trans retinoic acid and chemotherapy (n=31) or arsenic trioxide and all-trans retinoic acid. Consolidation included modified chemotherapy or arsenic trioxide. At a median follow up of 26 months, 23 patients are in complete remission, 4 relapsed and one developed secondary leukemia. The 5-year cumulative incidence of relapse and overall survival were 23% and 68%, respectively. Although treatment heterogeneity and suboptimal post-remission therapy must be taken into account, overall results and development of secondary leukemia in one patient suggest that effective and less toxic agents like arsenic trioxide warrants further investigation in this context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-625
Number of pages5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


  • Acute promyelocytic leukemia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Secondary leukemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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