Rarely in the field of cancer treatment did we experience as many surprises as with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). Yet, the latest clinical trial reported by Lo-Coco et al in the New England Journal of Medicine is a practice-changing study, as it reports a very favorable outcome of virtually all enrolled low-intermediate risk patients with APL without any DNA-damaging chemotherapy. Although predicted from previous small pilot studies, these elegant and stringently controlled results open a new era in leukemia therapy.
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