Clinical Outcomes of 217 Patients with Acute Erythroleukemia According to Treatment Type and Line: A Retrospective Multinational Study

Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Apr 14;18(4):837. doi: 10.3390/ijms18040837.


Acute erythroleukemia (AEL) is a rare disease typically associated with a poor prognosis. The median survival ranges between 3-9 months from initial diagnosis. Hypomethylating agents (HMAs) have been shown to prolong survival in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and AML, but there is limited data of their efficacy in AEL. We collected data from 210 AEL patients treated at 28 international sites. Overall survival (OS) and PFS were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method and the log-rank test was used for subgroup comparisons. Survival between treatment groups was compared using the Cox proportional hazards regression model. Eighty-eight patients were treated with HMAs, 44 front line, and 122 with intensive chemotherapy (ICT). ICT led to a higher overall response rate (complete or partial) compared to first-line HMA (72% vs. 46.2%, respectively; p ≤ 0.001), but similar progression-free survival (8.0 vs. 9.4 months; p = 0.342). Overall survival was similar for ICT vs. HMAs (10.5 vs. 13.7 months; p = 0.564), but patients with high-risk cytogenetics treated with HMA first-line lived longer (7.5 for ICT vs. 13.3 months; p = 0.039). Our results support the therapeutic value of HMA in AEL.

Keywords: acute erythroleukemia; azacitidine; decitabine.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Azacitidine / administration & dosage
  • Azacitidine / analogs & derivatives
  • Biomarkers
  • Bone Marrow / pathology
  • Cytogenetic Analysis
  • Decitabine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Erythroblastic, Acute / diagnosis
  • Leukemia, Erythroblastic, Acute / drug therapy*
  • Leukemia, Erythroblastic, Acute / mortality*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers
  • Decitabine
  • Azacitidine

Supplementary concepts

  • Acute erythroleukemia