Despite the high cure probability for acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL), a minority of patients will relapse and the risk factors for relapse are unclear. We retrospectively analysed 212 patients who were diagnosed with non-high-risk APL and received all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) plus arsenic as front-line therapy at Peking University Institute of Hematology from February 2014 to December 2018. A total of 176 patients (83%) received oral arsenic (realgar-indigo naturalis formula) plus ATRA, 36 patients (17%) received arsenic trioxide plus ATRA and 203 patients were evaluable for relapse. After a median (range) follow-up of 53·6 (24·3-85·4) months, two patients had molecular relapse and eight had haematological relapse. A promyelocytic leukaemia/retinoic acid receptor alpha (PML-RARA) transcript level of ≥6·5% at the end of induction therapy was associated with relapse (P = 0·031). The 5-year cumulative incidence of relapse, event-free survival and overall survival were 5·5%, 92·3% and 96·3% respectively. In conclusion, the present long-term follow-up study further confirmed the high cure probability of ATRA plus oral arsenic as front-line therapy for non-high-risk APL and showed that the PML-RARA transcript level at the end of induction therapy was associated with relapse.
© 2021 British Society for Haematology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.