Although peripheral count recovery and minimal residual disease level following induction therapy are linked, each is an independent prognostic factor for relapse and overall survival in patients with acute myeloid leukemia, investigators say in a report published online March 2 in Journal of Clinical Oncology. “Information about these post-treatment factors is likely more important than information about several traditional pretreatment prognostic factors and should play a major – and perhaps the dominant – role in planning postinduction therapy,” wrote Dr. Xueyan Chen and her associates.

The investigators retrospectively analyzed data from 245 adults with newly diagnosed, relapsed, or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who achieved either complete remission (CR), complete remission with incomplete platelet recovery (CRp), or complete remission with incomplete blood count recovery (CRi), after induction therapy. The 71% of patients who achieved CR had minimal residual disease (MRD) less frequently and had lower levels of MRD than the 19.6% of patients achieving CRp and 9.4% achieving CRi, suggesting that failure of blood count recovery may result from inadequate treatment of AML.

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