Ethnicity and prognosis in acute myeloid leukemia

Ronny Alcalai*, Dina Ben-Yehuda, Ilana Ronen, Ora Paltiel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Ethnicity has been described as a prognostic factor in breast cancer and in childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia but not in adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We reviewed the records of 225 consecutive AML patients who were diagnosed and treated between 1983 and 1995. Data were collected concerning demographic factors, presenting clinical features, and treatment protocols. We categorized ethnicity as follows: European Jews, non-European Jews, and Arabs. We assessed the role of ethnicity controlling for other known prognostic factors on treatment outcome and survival in this population. Older age, high leukocyte count at diagnosis, and high-risk chromosomal aberrations were significantly associated with overall survival in univariate analysis. In multivariate analysis high leukocyte count and high-risk chromosomal aberrations exerted an independent negative effect on survival. European origin was associated with longer event-free survival in univariate analysis (P = 0.024) and longer overall (P < 0.01) and event-free (P < 0.01) survival but not with a higher remission rate in multivariate analysis. For AML patients who achieved remission after induction chemotherapy and survived its complications, European origin is an independent favorable prognostic factor for long-term remission and survival in Israel. These findings may reflect better socioeconomic status, social support, increased compliance with treatment protocols, or better psychological coping mechanisms with malignancy.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)127-134
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Hematology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • AML
  • Ethnicity
  • Prognosis
  • Social class
  • Survival


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