Disparities exist in survival among younger patients with acute leukemia

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Disparities in treatment outcomes for younger patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) exist among uninsured patients and those of Hispanic and black race/ethnicity, according to a new study published online ahead of print in the journal Cancer.

For the study, researchers sought to evaluate disparities in early death and survival in children, adolescents, and young adults with APL in California in the era of all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) treatment.

Researchers analyzed data from the California Cancer Registry to assess the 7-day and 30-day mortality and survival in 772 patients younger than 39 years of age with APL who were diagnosed between 1988 and 2011.

Results showed that the overall 30-day mortality decreased from 26% between 1988 and 1995 to 14% between 2004 and 2011, suggesting that the odds of death in the 30 days after diagnosis were 3 times higher during the first time period than the second time period.

Researchers found that lack of insurance and Hispanic and black race/ethnicity were associated with higher early death and reduced survival, suggesting that efforts should be made to improve access to effective treatment among those patients.

Adolescents and young adults should be included in clinical trials
Disparities in treatment outcomes for younger patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) exist.
Findings from clinical trials and population-based studies have differed with regard to whether mortality within 30 days of diagnosis (early death) of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) has decreased in the era of all-trans retinoic acid and anthracycline-based chemotherapy.
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