A 69-year-old woman with leukocytopenia and thrombocytopenia was referred to our hospital. Her bone marrow comprised 70.5% abnormal promyelocytes that were positive for myeloperoxidase/CD33/CD117 and CD13 (dim) and negative for CD2/CD34/CD56 and HLA-DR. Chromosome analysis of the bone marrow showed t (12;17;15) (p13;q21;q22), and fluorescence in situ hybridization revealed the PML-RARA fusion signal only on the derivative chromosome 15. The patient was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) with PML-RARA and was treated using all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA). In peripheral blood (PB), PML-RARA-positive polymorphonuclear cells (PMNs) appeared on the second week and became negative on the sixth week after treatment, whereas PML-RARA-negative PMNs started to increase in number on the sixth week. Molecular remission was confirmed on the 10th week. Quantitative evaluation of the differentiated leukemic cells of APL and recovered cells from normal hematopoiesis in PB can provide useful information for a safer induction therapy. No significant difference was noted in the kinetics of the leukemic cells under ATRA treatment as well as in the clinical features between our patient without RARA-PML and those with t (15;17), which is a cytogenetic evidence for the critical role of PML-RARA in the pathogenesis of APL.
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