Improved Survival for Children and Adolescents With Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Between 1990 and 2005: A Report From the Children's Oncology Group

University of Colorado School of Medicine, Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.
Journal of Clinical Oncology (Impact Factor: 17.88). 03/2012; 30(14):1663-9. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2011.37.8018
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To examine population-based improvements in survival and the impact of clinical covariates on outcome among children and adolescents with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) enrolled onto Children's Oncology Group (COG) clinical trials between 1990 and 2005.
In total, 21,626 persons age 0 to 22 years were enrolled onto COG ALL clinical trials from 1990 to 2005, representing 55.8% of ALL cases estimated to occur among US persons younger than age 20 years during this period. This period was divided into three eras (1990-1994, 1995-1999, and 2000-2005) that included similar patient numbers to examine changes in 5- and 10-year survival over time and the relationship of those changes in survival to clinical covariates, with additional analyses of cause of death.
Five-year survival rates increased from 83.7% in 1990-1994 to 90.4% in 2000-2005 (P < .001). Survival improved significantly in all subgroups (except for infants age ≤ 1 year), including males and females; those age 1 to 9 years, 10+ years, or 15+ years; in whites, blacks, and other races; in Hispanics, non-Hispanics, and patients of unknown ethnicity; in those with B-cell or T-cell immunophenotype; and in those with National Cancer Institute (NCI) standard- or high-risk clinical features. Survival rates for infants changed little, but death following relapse/disease progression decreased and death related to toxicity increased.
This study documents ongoing survival improvements for children and adolescents with ALL. Thirty-six percent of deaths occurred among children with NCI standard-risk features emphasizing that efforts to further improve survival must be directed at both high-risk subsets and at those children predicted to have an excellent chance for cure.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mexico has one of the highest incidences of childhood leukemia worldwide and significantly higher mortality rates for this disease compared with other countries. One possible cause is the high prevalence of gene rearrangements associated with the etiology or with a poor prognosis of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The aims of this multicenter study were to determine the prevalence of the four most common gene rearrangements [ETV6-RUNX1, TCF3-PBX1, BCR-ABL1, and MLL rearrangements] and to explore their relationship with mortality rates during the first year of treatment in ALL children from Mexico City. Patients were recruited from eight public hospitals during 2010-2012. A total of 282 bone marrow samples were obtained at each child's diagnosis for screening by conventional and multiplex reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction to determine the gene rearrangements. Gene rearrangements were detected in 50 (17.7%) patients. ETV6-RUNX1 was detected in 21 (7.4%) patients, TCF3-PBX1 in 20 (7.1%) patients, BCR-ABL1 in 5 (1.8%) patients, and MLL rearrangements in 4 (1.4%) patients. The earliest deaths occurred at months 1, 2, and 3 after diagnosis in patients with MLL, ETV6-RUNX1, and BCR-ABL1 gene rearrangements, respectively. Gene rearrangements could be related to the aggressiveness of leukemia observed in Mexican children.
    BioMed Research International 01/2014; 2014:210560. DOI:10.1155/2014/210560 · 2.71 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Treatment-related mortality and abandonment of therapy are major barriers to successful treatment of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in the developing world. A collaboration was undertaken between Instituto Nacional de Cancerologia (Bogota, Colombia), which serves a poor patient population in an upper-middle income country, and Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center (Boston, USA). Several interventions aimed at reducing toxic deaths and abandonment were implemented, including a reduced-intensity treatment regimen and a psychosocial effort targeting abandonment. We performed a cohort study to assess impact. The Study Population comprised 99 children with ALL diagnosed between 2007 and 2010, and the Historic Cohort comprised 181 children treated prior to the study interventions (1995-2004). Significant improvements were achieved in the rate of deaths in complete remission (13% to 3%; P = 0.005), abandonment (32% to 9%; P < 0.001), and event-free survival with abandonment considered an event (47% to 65% at 2 years; P = 0.016). However, relapse rate did not improve. Medically unnecessary treatment delays were common, and landmark analysis revealed that initiating the PIII phase of therapy ≥4 weeks delayed predicted markedly inferior disease-free survival (P = 0.016). Conversely, patients who received therapy without excessive delays had outcomes approaching those achieved in high-income countries. Implementation of a twinning program was followed by reductions in abandonment and toxic deaths, but relapse rate did not improve. Inappropriate treatment delays were common and strongly predicted treatment failure. These findings highlight the importance of adherence to treatment schedule for effective therapy of ALL. Pediatr Blood Cancer © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Pediatric Blood & Cancer 03/2015; DOI:10.1002/pbc.25510 · 2.56 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BackgroundB cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (BCP-ALL) is the most common paediatric cancer. BCP-ALL blasts typically retain wild type p53, and are therefore assumed to rely on indirect measures to suppress transformation-induced p53 activity. We have recently demonstrated that the second messenger cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) through activation of protein kinase A (PKA) has the ability to inhibit DNA damage-induced p53 accumulation and thereby promote survival of the leukaemic blasts.Development of BCP-ALL in the bone marrow (BM) is supported by resident BM-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). MSCs are known to produce prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) which upon binding to its receptors is able to elicit a cAMP response in target cells. We hypothesized that PGE2 produced by stromal cells in the BM microenvironment could stimulate cAMP production and PKA activation in BCP-ALL cells, thereby suppressing p53 accumulation and promoting survival of the malignant cells.Methods Primary BCP-ALL cells isolated from BM aspirates at diagnosis were cocultivated with BM-derived MSCs, and effects on DNA damage-induced p53 accumulation and cell death were monitored by SDS-PAGE/immunoblotting and flow cytometry-based methods, respectively. Effects of intervention of signalling along the PGE2-cAMP-PKA axis were assessed by inhibition of PGE2 production or PKA activity. Statistical significance was tested by Wilcoxon signed-rank test or paired samples t test.ResultsWe demonstrate that BM-derived MSCs produce PGE2 and protect primary BCP-ALL cells from p53 accumulation and apoptotic cell death. The MSC-mediated protection of DNA damage-mediated cell death is reversible upon inhibition of PGE2 synthesis or PKA activity. Furthermore our results indicate differences in the sensitivity to variations in p53 levels between common cytogenetic subgroups of BCP-ALL.Conclusions Our findings support our hypothesis that BM-derived PGE2, through activation of cAMP-PKA signalling in BCP-ALL blasts, can inhibit the tumour suppressive activity of wild type p53, thereby promoting leukaemogenesis and protecting against therapy-induced leukaemic cell death. These novel findings identify the PGE2-cAMP-PKA signalling pathway as a possible target for pharmacological intervention with potential relevance for treatment of BCP-ALL.

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 31, 2014