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Replacing cyclophosphamide/cytarabine/mercaptopurine with cyclophosphamide/etoposide during consolidation/delayed intensification does not improve outcome for pediatric B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a report from the COG. Haematologica 2019 05;104(5):986-992



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With modern chemotherapy, approximately 90% of patients with pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia are now cured. However, subsets of patients can be identified who remain at very high risk of relapse with expected 4-year disease-free survival rates <80%; such patients are appropriate candidates for intensive therapeutic strategies designed to improve survival. The AALL1131 trial was designed to determine, in a randomized fashion, whether substitution with cyclophosphamide/etoposide (experimental arm 1) would improve the 4-year disease-free survival of children, adolescents, and young adults with very high-risk B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia compared to a modified Berlin-Frankfurt-Münster regimen (control arm). Patients 1-30 years of age with newly diagnosed very high-risk B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia were randomized after induction in a 1:2 fashion to the control arm or experimental arm 1 in which they were given cyclophosphamide (440 mg/m2 days 1-5)/etoposide (100 mg/m2 days 1-5) during part 2 of consolidation and delayed intensification. Prospective interim monitoring rules for efficacy and futility were included where futility would be determined for a one-sided P-value ≥0.7664. The study was stopped for futility as the interim monitoring boundary was crossed [hazard ratio 0.606 (95% confidence interval: 0.297 - 1.237)] and the very high-risk arm of AALL1131 was closed in February 2017. Using data current as of December 31, 2017, 4-year disease-free survival rates were 85.5±6.8% (control arm) versus 72.3±6.3% (experimental arm 1) (P-value = 0.76). There were no significant differences in grade 3/4 adverse events between the two arms. Substitution of this therapy for very high-risk B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients on the Children's Oncology Group AALL1131 trial (NCT02883049) randomized to cyclophosphamide/etoposide during part 2 of consolidation and delayed intensification did not improve disease-free survival.

Author List

Burke MJ, Salzer WL, Devidas M, Dai Y, Gore L, Hilden JM, Larsen E, Rabin KR, Zweidler-McKay PA, Borowitz MJ, Wood B, Heerema NA, Carroll AJ, Winick N, Carroll WL, Raetz EA, Loh ML, Hunger SP


Michael James Burke MD Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols
Case-Control Studies
Child, Preschool
Follow-Up Studies
Precursor B-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma
Prospective Studies
Survival Rate
Young Adult
jenkins-FCD Prod-482 91ad8a360b6da540234915ea01ff80e38bfdb40a