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Buchanan GR, Rivera GK, Pollock BH, et al.
Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who experience hematologic recurrence while receiving chemotherapy or within 6 months after its cessation have a low cure rate. In this study (Pediatric Oncology Group Protocol 8303) two methods were examined for improving the outcome in these children.
After remission induction with prednisone, vincristine, daunorubicin, and asparaginase (PVDA) and consolidation chemotherapy with teniposide and cytarabine, patients received weekly continuation chemotherapy with rotating pairs of drugs, comprised of teniposide and cytarabine and vincristine and cyclophosphamide. In addition, they were randomized to receive or not receive repeated reinduction with PVDA. Patients with matched sibling donors were allowed to receive allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) instead of continued chemotherapy.
Of 297 evaluable patients 258 (87%) achieved second complete hematologic remission. However, only 23 of these patients remained continuously free of leukemia > or =7 years after chemotherapy or BMT. Neither PVDA pulses nor BMT appeared to influence outcome at a statistically significant level.
The results of the current study confirm prior reports of the low cure rate of children with ALL who experience hematologic recurrence during initial therapy or shortly after its cessation. New approaches are needed to prevent and retreat hematologic recurrence in pediatric ALL patients. Copyright 2000 American Cancer Society.
Rheinische Friedrich- Wilhelms- Universität Bonn