Global characteristics of childhood acute promyelocytic leukemia.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the treatment outcome of children with acute leukemias at a university hospital in Singapore. Between January 1988 and January 1994, 66 children were treated, comprising 13 cases of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and 53 acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The 2-year disease-free survival (DFS) was computed according to the Kaplan-Meier method. The results showed that the survival of AML was poor, with a 2-year DFS of only 30%. The major cause of death for AML was leukemia and leukemia-related complications, such as hemorrhage and severe infections. In contrast, a 62% 2-year DFS was achieved for ALL. It was found that marked hepatosplenomegaly (enlarged liver and/or spleen > or = 10 cm below the costal margin) at presentation correlated with a significance shortened survival in our patients with ALL. The major cause for treatment failure in ALL was recurrence of disease. We conclude that the DFS for our patients with ALL at 2 years was fair. The treatment results for AML were poor, but the numbers are too small to make any definite conclusions.