THURSDAY, April 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) — For patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the presence of leukemia cutis (LC) is associated with decreased overall and leukemia-specific survival, according to a study published online April 10 in JAMA Dermatology.

Cynthia X. Wang, M.P.H.S., from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study involving 1,683 patients with AML with and without biopsy-proven LC to examine patient factors associated with LC and characterize the correlation of LC with the course of AML. To evaluate differences in survival, propensity scoring was used to match patients with AML and LC to patients with AML without LC.

A total of 62 patients with AML and LC were matched in a 1:3 ratio to 186 patients without LC. The researchers found a five-year survival rate of 8.6 percent for the AML patients with LC compared with 28.3 percent for the matched AML patients without LC. Compared with those without LC, patients with AML and LC had hazard ratios of 2.06 and 1.66 for leukemia-specific death and all-cause death, respectively. The odds of extramedullary organ burden were increased for matched patients with LC (odds ratio, 3.48).

“Further investigations are needed to understand the biological mechanisms behind leukemic infiltration of the skin and its association with patient survival, as well as to determine the most salient treatment strategies for these cases,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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