Acute Leukemia Characteristics are different around the world. The Mexican Perspective: Beyond the Abstract

In Mexico and Latin-America acute leukemias (AL) have a great impact due to their high mortality rates and impact in the health care systems. Our country, still in development, lack prospective and well designed epidemiological studies; therefore, we do not have large-scale descriptive studies regarding AL. Hence, this is a study of importance, and we hope that these findings will help to build a solid base for better future studies. 

In our study, we found a similar incidence of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and also lower median age in AML patients, these findings differ from studies conducted in US in a no-Latin American population.  Interestingly, we found a lower incidence of Philadelphia chromosome positivity in ALL (<10%), that can be partially explained by the younger age of our patients. Other possible contributions include the fact that not all patients were tested for Ph of BCR/ABL (80.3%); this lack of testing is a common problem that we face in daily basis due to economic restrains and the scarcity of equipment.  Also participation form centers of specific geographic zones could have modified this result.  Thus, this finding should be taken with caution. Regarding AML, as mentioned before, a relevant age difference is present when comparing our results to studies performed in the US and Europe.  The reason for this important finding is still unclear.  This can be explained by the ageing population in developed countries, and lower diagnostic accuracy in elderly patients in developing ones, as this particular group has a reduced access to healthcare.

Our study is retrospective and has limitations; therefore, the results must be confirmed in a well designed prospective study.

Written by: David Gómez Almague

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