Comparison of long-term neurocognitive outcomes in young children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated with cranial radiation or high-dose or very high-dose intravenous methotrexate.
ABSTRACT Cranial radiation therapy (CRT) is associated with neurocognitive morbidity in survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). For most patients, CRT has been replaced with intensified systemic and intrathecal chemotherapy, often including methotrexate (MTX). The impact of chemotherapy-only protocols on neurocognitive outcomes is unclear, and the importance of systemic MTX dose has not been established.
Seventy nine of 120 eligible children diagnosed with high-risk ALL between the ages of 1.0 and 4.9 years participated in this retrospective cohort study. All patients were treated on a uniform chemotherapy protocol with one of three modalities of CNS prophylaxis, depending on their treatment era. In addition to intrathecal therapy, CNS-directed therapy consisted of CRT (18 Gy in 10 fractions) in 25 patients, high-dose intravenous (IV) MTX (8 g/m2 x 3 doses) in 32 patients and very high-dose IV MTX (33.6 g/m2 x 3 doses) in 22 patients. Participants completed tests of intelligence, academic achievement, attention, and memory.
Neurocognitive assessment was conducted at least 5 years after diagnosis (mean, 10.5 years, standard deviation, 2.7 years). No difference was detected on any neurocognitive measure between children treated with high-dose or very high-dose IV MTX. The combined MTX groups scored near the population mean on 17/18 measures. Children treated with CRT performed more poorly than the MTX group on most measures.
Treatment strategies for young children with ALL that avoid CRT are associated with good long-term neurocognitive outcomes. In this cohort, the dose of IV MTX did not influence these outcomes.
Article: The usefulness of growth hormone treatment for psychological status in young adult survivors of childhood leukaemia: an open-label study.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To reduce the risk of brain damage children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) are nowadays mainly treated with intrathecal chemotherapy (ITC) instead of central nervous system (CNS) radiation therapy (CRT) to prevent CNS relapse. However, chemotherapy may also lead to cognitive deficits. As growth hormone deficiency (GHD) or impaired growth hormone secretion are frequently found in ALL patients treated with cranial radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy, we hypothesized that GH therapy may reduce cognitive deficits in these patients. Twenty young adult survivors of childhood ALL with reduced bone mineral density (<-1 SD) and/or low IGF-I SD-scores (<-1 SD) were included in the study. A final group of 13 patients (9 males and 4 females), mean age 23.7 +/- 2.9 years (range 20 - 29.7) completed a 2-year treatment with GH.IQ and neuropsychological performance were assessed at pre-treatment (T1) and after one (T2) and two (T3) years. ANOVA was performed with assessment at T1, T2 and T3 as repeated measurements factor. Relations between test score changes and changes of IGF-I levels were determined by calculating the Pearson correlation coefficient. Scores on the cognitive tests were in the normal range. Verbal short- and long-term memory performance decreased between T1 and T2, and increased between T2 and T3. Performance at T3 was not significantly different from that at T1. Performance for sustained attention improved from T1 to T2 and from T1 to T3. Visual-spatial memory was improved after one year of GH treatment. A significant positive correlation was found for Delta IGF-I (T2-T1) with difference scores of visual-spatial memory (T2-T1 and T3-T1), indicating that IGF-I increase after one year of GH treatment is associated with increase in cognitive-perceptual performance at month 12 and 24. Since the level of intellectual functioning of our patient cohort was in the normal range the present finding that GH treatment has negative effects on verbal memory and positive on attention and visual-spatial memory warrants similar studies in other groups of ALL survivors. Also, a lower dose of GH should be determined inducing as much IGF as needed to improve verbal as well as visual cognitive functions. The present findings indicate that more knowledge is needed before GH treatment may be recommended to enhance cognitive functions in ALL survivors.BMC Pediatrics 02/2008; 8:25. · 1.88 Impact Factor