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What is all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) for acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL)?

ANSWER

Acute promyelocytic leukemia is a type of cancer that affects your stem cells. You’ll need medicine to change your cancer cells into mature, healthy blood cells so they don't burst open and release their protein. All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) is one of 2 drugs that can treat it. You might need to stay on this drug for a year or two. Side effects include a headache, fever, rash, mouth or throat sores, itching, and high cholesterol.

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Chemotherapy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia," "Other Drugs for Acute Myeloid Leukemia," "Radiation Therapy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia," "Stem Cell Transplant for Myeloid Leukemia," "Typical Treatment of Most Types of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (Except Acute Promyelocytic M3)."

American Society of Clinical Oncology: "Leukemia - Acute Myeloid - AML - Treatment Options."

National Cancer Institute: "Adult Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment (PDQ) - Patient Version."

UpToDate: "Patient education: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) treatment in adults (Beyond the Basics)."

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on November 29, 2017

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Chemotherapy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia," "Other Drugs for Acute Myeloid Leukemia," "Radiation Therapy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia," "Stem Cell Transplant for Myeloid Leukemia," "Typical Treatment of Most Types of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (Except Acute Promyelocytic M3)."

American Society of Clinical Oncology: "Leukemia - Acute Myeloid - AML - Treatment Options."

National Cancer Institute: "Adult Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment (PDQ) - Patient Version."

UpToDate: "Patient education: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) treatment in adults (Beyond the Basics)."

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on November 29, 2017

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What is arsenic trioxide (Trisenox) for acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL)?

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