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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 57  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 451-456

Early death in acute promyelocytic leukemia: Evidence from a rural cancer center

1 Department of Medical Oncology, Manipal Hospitals, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Pathology, Manipal Hospitals, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Krishna Reddy Golamari
Department of Medical Oncology, Manipal Hospitals, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_177_19

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Background: Early death is still the characteristic feature of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) despite the advances in the treatment regimen. Analyzing the incidence of early death would prove beneficial as no much substantial information is available pertaining to the rural population. The present study analyzed the incidence of APL-associated early death, its clinical characteristics, and outcome among acute myeloid leukemia patients. Methods: This retrospective study included patients catering to the rural areas of Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh, India) from January 2013 to June 2017. Chi-square test, Fisher's exact test, independent sample median test, and Kaplan–Meier test for probability of survival were used. Results: Of the 204 acute myeloid cases, 24% cases (median age = 30 years; range=8 to 68 years) were identified as APL. Early death rate was 34.6%, who expired within 30 days from diagnosis with 65% suffering high disease risk. The median time from admission to death was 2 days (range 0–18). Cause of early death was majorly due to hemorrhage (64%). Moreover, 47.1% of early death patients received no prior antileukemic treatment. The overall 5-year cumulative disease-free survival rate among patients with APL was 76% where high disease risk patients had the least disease-free survival (65%–75%), whereas intermediate and low-risk patients had >80% and 100% disease-free survival rate, respectively. Conclusion: Early diagnosis and timely intervention might help to prevent early death as our findings clearly indicate poor awareness of disease and lack of early intervention among the rural population.


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