April 1976

Acute Granulocytic Leukemia (AGL) in the Elderly

Author Affiliations

La Jolla, Calif

Arch Intern Med. 1976;136(4):493-494. doi:10.1001/archinte.1976.03630040095020

To the Editor.—  The quality of logic in the most recent assault on my pessimism by Dr Fred Rosner et al (the Archives 136:120, 1976) has compounded that pessimism. Statistics announced at a meeting one year ago are employed to refute a statement in an editorial written by me nine years ago.1 At the time the statement ("When acute granulocytic leukemia occurs in patients over 50, chemotherapy does not produce remissions") was protested by several men who wrote to me claiming that I was wrong, that they personally had seen a remission, even two remissions in elderly patients. Massachusetts General Hospital beckoned me to come and behold such a patient. But my point was not lost on those correspondents. They knew as well as I did that in elderly patients the risk of all-out chemotherapy far outweighed any possibility of benefit. Many of us still remember the situation in

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