• The establishment of a clinical network led to significant and lasting advancements in the treatment outcomes of APL over a span of 15 years

  • The overall survival rate for low-/intermediate-risk patients was 90%, similar to that reported in trials conducted in high-income countries

The introduction of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) combined with anthracyclines has significantly improved the outcomes for patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), and this strategy remains the standard of care in countries where arsenic trioxide is not affordable. However, data from national registries and real-world databases indicate that low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) still face disappointing results, mainly due to high induction mortality and suboptimal management of complications. The American Society of Hematology established the International Consortium on Acute Leukemias (ICAL) to address this challenge through international clinical networking. Here, we present the findings from the ICAPL study involving 806 patients with APL recruited in Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. The induction mortality rate has decreased to 14.6% compared to the pre-ICAL rate of 32%. Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed as factors associated with induction death: age ≥ 40 years, ECOG = 3, high-risk status based on the PETHEMA/GIMEMA classification, albumin level ≤ 3.5 g/dL, bcr3 PML/RARA isoform, the interval between presenting symptoms to diagnosis exceeding 48 hours, and the occurrence of central nervous system and pulmonary bleeding. With a median follow-up of 53 months, the estimated 4-year overall survival (OS) rate is 81%, the 4-year disease-free survival (DFS) rate is 80%, and the 4-year cumulative incidence of relapse (CIR) rate is 15%. These results parallel those observed in studies conducted in high-income countries, highlighting the long-term effectiveness of developing clinical networks to improve clinical care and infrastructure in LMIC.

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