To the Editor.
—A recent editorial1 entitled "Grounds for Optimism in Treating Acute Granulocytic Leukemia" again characterizes the well-recognized pessimistic view of the past that the disease is hopeless and inevitably fatal.Let us examine the facts based on a recent update (Dec 15, 1974) of the Southwest Oncology Group report on the management of acute leukemia with cytarabine (Cytosar).2 The Table includes all the patients in the study who survived longer than 135 weeks. Eleven of the 48 patients who achieved complete remission lived longer than 135 weeks (2.6 years). Of those 11 patients, three had relapses at 151 weeks (2.9 years), 221 weeks (4.3 years), and 226 weeks (4.3 years). There have been no additional relapses with follow up to 353 weeks (6.8 years). Three of the eight remaining patients died of causes other than their acute leukemia. A 56-year-old man died of a brain metastasis
Bickers JN, Genhan EA, Coltman CA, Wilson HE, Hewlett JS, Stuckey WJ, Van Slyck EJ. Toward a Hopeful Outlook in Acute Granulocytic Leukemia. Arch Intern Med. 1975;135(3):489–490. doi:10.1001/archinte.1975.00330030139015