Revision of the risk of secondary leukaemia after mitoxantrone in multiple sclerosis populations is required

Ana M Pascual, Neus Téllez, Isabel Boscá, Javier Mallada, Antonio Belenguer, Inmaculada Abellán, Angel P Sempere, Pascual Fernández, Ma José Magraner, Francisco Coret, Miguel A Sanz, Xavier Montalbán, Bonaventura Casanova
Multiple Sclerosis: Clinical and Laboratory Research 2009, 15 (11): 1303-10
The objective in this paper is to compare the cumulative incidence and incidence density of therapy-related acute myeloid leukaemia in two cohorts of patients with multiple sclerosis treated with mitoxantrone, and with previously reported data in the literature. Six new cases of acute myeloid leukaemia were observed by prospectively following two Spanish series of 142 and 88 patients with worsening relapsing multiple sclerosis and secondary-progressive disease treated with mitoxantrone. A literature review shows 32 further cases of acute myeloid leukaemia reported, 65.6% of which are therapy-related acute promyelocytic leukaemia. Five cases in the cohorts fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for acute promyelocytic leukaemia, and one patient was diagnosed with pre-B-acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Acute myeloid leukaemia latency after mitoxantrone discontinuation was 1 to 45 months. The accumulated incidence and incidence density was 2.82% and 0.62%, respectively, in the Valencian cohort, and 2.27% and 0.44% in the Catalonian cohort. In the only seven previously reported series, the accumulated incidence varied from 0.15% to 0.80%. The real incidence of acute myeloid leukaemia after mitoxantrone therapy in the multiple sclerosis population could be higher as evidenced by the growing number of cases reported. Haematological monitoring should continue for at least 5 years after the last dose of mitoxantrone. These data stress the necessity of re-evaluating this risk.

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