Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is a model of clinical applicability of the knowledge of molecular physiopathology. It is characterized by recurrent genetic involvement of the retinoic acid alpha receptor. The consequence is a protein with low sensibility to its ligand and a myeloid maturation arrest. However, higher doses of all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) are able to supersede this deficiency and this is the mainstay of APL treatment leading to over 80% disease free survival, when adequately treated. Epidemiologically, it differs from other acute myeloid leukemia due to a higher incidence in young adults and in countries of "Latin" colonization. Differing from excellent results observed in developed countries, APL mortality in Brazil is still high, despite the wide availability of drugs.
Acute myeloid leukemia; Acute promyelocytic leukemia