[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activating mutations in the NOTCH1 pathway are frequent in pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) but their role in refining risk stratification is unclear. We screened 162 pediatric T-ALL patients treated on the MRC UKALL2003 trial for NOTCH1/FBXW7 gene mutations and related genotype to response to therapy and long-term outcome. Overall, 35% were wild-type (WT) for both genes (NOTCH1(WT)FBXW7(WT)), 38% single NOTCH1 mutant (NOTCH1(Single)FBXW7(WT)), 3% just FBXW7 mutant (NOTCH1(WT)FBXW7(MUT)) and 24% either double NOTCH1 mutant (NOTCH1(Double)FBXW7(WT)) or mutant in both genes (NOTCH1(MUT)FBXW7(MUT)), hereafter called as NOTCH1±FBXW7(Double). There was no difference between groups in early response to therapy, but NOTCH1±FBXW7(Double) patients were more likely to be associated with negative minimal residual disease (MRD) post-induction than NOTCH1(WT)FBXW7(WT) patients (71% versus 40%, P=0.004). Outcome improved according to the number of mutations, overall survival at 5 years 82%, 88% and 100% for NOTCH1(WT)FBXW7(WT), NOTCH1(Single)FBXW7(WT) and NOTCH1±FBXW7(Double) patients, respectively (log-rank P for trend=0.005). Although 14 NOTCH1±FBXW7(Double) patients were classified as high risk (slow response and/or MRD positive), only two had disease progression and all remain alive. Patients with double NOTCH1 and/or FBXW7 mutations have a very good outcome and should not be considered for more intensive therapy in first remission, even if slow early responders or MRD positive after induction therapy.Leukemia advance online publication, 20 July 2012; doi:10.1038/leu.2012.176.
Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 07/2012; · 10.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported that children in the UKALL XI ALL trial with HLA-DP 1 and -DP 3 supertypes had significantly worse event-free survival (EFS) than children with other DP supertypes. As DP 1 and DP 3 share two of four key antigen-binding amino-acid polymorphisms (aspartic acid84-lysine69), we asked whether Asp84-Lys69 or Asp84 alone were independent prognostic indicators in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). We analysed EFS in 798 UKALL XI patients, stratified by Asp84-Lys69 vs non-Asp84-Lys69, for a median follow-up of 12.5 years. Asp84-Lys69 was associated with a significantly worse EFS than non-Asp84-Lys69 (5-year EFS: Asp84-Lys69: 58.8% (95% CI (confidence of interval): 52.7-64.9%); non-Asp84-Lys69: 67.3% (63.4-71.2%); 2P=0.007). Post-relapse EFS was 10% less in Asp84-Lys69 than non-Asp84-Lys69 patients. EFS was significantly worse (P=0.03) and post-relapse EFS marginally worse (P=0.06) in patients with Asp84 compared with Gly84. These results suggest that Asp84-Lys69 predicted adverse EFS in the context of UKALL XI because of Asp84, and may have influenced post-relapse EFS. We speculate that this may be due to the recruitment of Asp84-Lys69-restricted regulatory T cells in the context of this regimen, leading to the re-emergence of residual disease. However, functional and molecular studies of the prognostic value of this and other HLA molecular signatures in other childhood ALL trials are needed.
Blood Cancer Journal 07/2012; 2(7):e80. · 1.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mercaptopurine has been used in continuing treatment of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia since the mid 1950s. Recent advances in the understanding of thiopurine pharmacology indicated that thioguanine (TG) might be more effective than mercaptopurine (MP). The US and UK cooperative groups began randomised thiopurine trials and agreed prospectively to a meta-analysis. All randomised trials of TG versus MP were sought, and data on individual patients were analysed by standard methods. Combining three trials (from US, UK and Germany), the overall event-free survival (EFS) was not significantly improved with TG (odds ratio (OR)=0.89; 95% confidence interval 0.78-1.03). Apparent differences in results between trials may be partly explained by the different types of patients studied. The larger treatment effect reported in males in the US trial was confirmed in the other trials. There was heterogeneity between sex/age subgroups (P=0.001), with significant EFS benefit of TG only observed for males aged <10 years old (OR=0.70; 0.58-0.84), although this did not result in a significant difference in overall survival (OR=0.83; 0.62-1.10). Additional toxicity occurs with TG. Mercaptopurine remains the standard thiopurine of choice, but further study of TG may be warranted to determine whether it could benefit particular subgroups.
Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 03/2011; 25(6):953-9. · 10.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Between 1980 and 2001, the United Kingdom Medical Research Council Childhood Leukemia Working Party conducted four clinical trials in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), which recruited a total of 6516 patients. UKALL VIII examined the role of daunorubicin in induction chemotherapy, and UKALL X examined the role of post-induction intensification. Both resulted in major improvement in the outcomes. UKALL XI examined the efficacy of different methods of central nervous system-directed therapy and the effects of an additional intensification. ALL97, which was initially based on the UKALL XD template (two intensification phases), examined the role of different steroids in induction and of different thiopurines through continuing chemotherapy. A reappraisal of results from UKALL XI compared with other cooperative group results led to a redesign in 1999, which subsequently resulted in a major improvement in outcomes. In addition, ALL97 and ALL97/99 showed a significant advantage for the use of dexamethasone rather than prednisolone; although the use of 6-thioguanine resulted in fewer relapses, this advantage was offset by an increased incidence of deaths in remission. Over the era encompassed by these four trials, there has been a major improvement in both event-free and overall survival for children in the United Kingdom with ALL.
Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 12/2009; 24(2):406-18. · 10.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite the success of contemporary treatment protocols in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), relapse within the central nervous system (CNS) remains a challenge. To better understand this phenomenon, we have analysed the changes in incidence and pattern of CNS relapses in 5564 children enrolled in four successive Medical Research Council-ALL trials between 1985 and 2001. Changes in the incidence and pattern of CNS relapses were examined and the relationship with patient characteristics was assessed. The factors affecting outcome after relapse were determined. Overall, relapses declined by 49%. Decreases occurred primarily in non-CNS and combined relapses with a progressive shift towards later (> or =30 months from diagnosis) relapses (P<0.0001). Although isolated CNS relapses declined, the proportional incidence and timing of relapse remained unchanged. Age and presenting white blood cell (WBC) count were risk factors for CNS relapse. On multivariate analysis, the time to relapse and the trial period influenced outcomes after relapse. Relapse trends differed within biological subtypes. In ETV6-RUNX1 ALL, relapse patterns mirrored overall trends whereas in high hyperdiploidy (HH) ALL, these seem to have plateaued over the latter two trial periods. Intensive systemic and intrathecal chemotherapy have decreased the overall CNS relapse rates and changed the patterns of recurrence. The heterogeneity of therapeutic response in the biological subtypes suggests room for further optimization using currently available chemotherapy.
Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 12/2009; 24(2):450-9. · 10.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effect of randomly allocated testicular irradiation on the subsequent incidence of testicular infiltration and disease-free survival was assessed in two Medical Research Council Childhood Leukaemia Trials, UKALL VI and UKALL VII. None of the 83 boys who actually received testicular radiotherapy subsequently developed gonadal disease, whereas 18 of the 163 who were not irradiated did. Despite this there is no apparent difference in disease-free survival for those randomized to receive testicular irradiation compared to those who were not. after a minimum of 8 years follow up. Although prophylactic testicular irradiation appears to prevent subsequent gonadal relapse there is no evidence that it improves overall prognosis when adequate systemic chemotherapy is used. As it has considerable long-term side effects it cannot be recommended as routine therapy.
British Journal of Haematology 03/2008; 75(4):496 - 498. · 4.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia reported high response rates to fludarabine combined with cyclophosphamide. We aimed to establish whether this treatment combination provided greater survival benefit than did chlorambucil or fludarabine.
777 patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia requiring treatment were randomly assigned to fludarabine (n=194) or fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide (196) for six courses, or chlorambucil (387) for 12 courses. The primary endpoint was overall survival, with secondary endpoints of response rates, progression-free survival, toxic effects, and quality of life. Analysis was by intention to treat. This study is registered as an International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial, number NCT 58585610.
There was no significant difference in overall survival between patients given fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide, fludarabine, or chlorambucil. Complete and overall response rates were better with fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide than with fludarabine (complete response rate 38%vs 15%, respectively; overall response rate 94%vs 80%, respectively; p<0.0001 for both comparisons), which were in turn better than with chlorambucil (complete response rate 7%, overall response rate 72%; p=0.006 and 0.04, respectively). Progression-free survival at 5 years was significantly better with fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide (36%) than with fludarabine (10%) or chlorambucil (10%; p<0.00005). Fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide was the best combination for all ages, including patients older than 70 years, and in prognostic groups defined by immunoglobulin heavy chain gene (V(H)) mutation status and cytogenetics, which were tested in 533 and 579 cases, respectively. Patients had more neutropenia and days in hospital with fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide, or fludarabine, than with chlorambucil. There was less haemolytic anaemia with fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide (5%) than with fludarabine (11%) or chlorambucil (12%). Quality of life was better for responders, but preliminary analyses showed no significant difference between treatments. A meta-analysis of these data and those of two published phase III trials showed a consistent benefit for the fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide regimen in terms of progression-free survival.
Fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide should now become the standard treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and the basis for new protocols that incorporate monoclonal antibodies.
The Lancet 07/2007; 370(9583):230-9. · 39.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Additional chromosomal aberrations occur frequently in Philadelphia chromosome positive (Ph+) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) of childhood. The treatment outcome of these patients is heterogeneous. This study assessed whether such clinical heterogeneity could be partially explained by the presence and characteristics of additional chromosomal abnormalities. Cytogenetic descriptions were available for 249 of 326 children with Ph+ ALL, diagnosed and treated by 10 different study groups/large single institutions from 1986 to 1996. Secondary aberrations were present in 61% of the cases. Chromosomes 9, 22, 7, 14, and 8 were most frequently abnormal. Most (93%) karyotypes were unbalanced. Three main cytogenetic subgroups were identified: no secondary aberrations, gain of a second Ph and/or >50 chromosomes, or loss of chromosome 7, 7p, and/or 9p, while other secondary aberrations were grouped as combinations of gain and loss or others. Of the three main cytogenetic subgroups, the loss group had the worst event-free survival (P=0.124) and disease-free survival (P=0.013). However, statistical significance was not maintained when adjusted for other prognostic factors and treatment. Karyotypic analysis is valuable in subsets of patients identified by molecular screening, to assess the role of additional chromosomal abnormalities and their correlation with clinical heterogeneity, with possible therapeutic implications.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine the association of cognitive impairment with platelet activation and reactive oxygen species and total homocysteine levels; and to assess the biochemical efficacy of treatment with aspirin and vitamin supplements in people at high risk of dementia.
People with dementia or mild cognitive impairment.
In a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial design trial, 149 people at high-risk of dementia were randomized to receive either low-dose aspirin (81 mg) or placebo; and folic acid (2 mg) plus vitamin B12 (1 mg) or placebo; and vitamins E (500 mg) plus C (200 mg) or placebo. Participants were seen twice before and once after 12 weeks of treatment.
At each visit, participants had their cognitive function assessed and had blood collected for homocysteine, folate and vitamin B12 determination and urine collected for markers of platelet activation (11-dehydro-thromboxane B2) and reactive oxygen species (8-epi-PGF2 alpha).
Prior to treatment, cognitive function was inversely related with homocysteine and with urinary thromboxane and isoprostane, and these associations were independent of age. Aspirin was associated with a median reduction in 11-dehydrothromboxane B2 of 73% (P < 0.001). B-vitamins lowered plasma homocysteine concentration by 30% (P < 0.0001) and antioxidant vitamins lowered isoprostane excretion by 26% (P < 0.1). No effect of treatment on cognitive function was detected.
Aspirin and B-vitamins were effective in reducing biochemical factors associated with cognitive impairment in people at risk of dementia. Large-scale trials are now required to assess the relevance of aspirin and B-vitamins for the maintenance of cognitive function in people at risk of dementia.
Journal of Internal Medicine 07/2003; 254(1):67-75. · 6.46 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A collaborative meta-analysis was performed to clarify the relative effects on relapse and survival of different types of therapies directed at the CNS in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Data were sought for each individual patient in all trials started in or before 1993 that included unconfounded randomized comparisons of such treatments. Log-rank survival analyses were performed for each trial, and overall results for groups of trials addressing similar questions were obtained from the totals of the observed minus expected number of events and their variances.
Radiotherapy and long-term intrathecal therapy gave similar outcomes, with no significant difference in event-free survival despite random assignment of treatment to 2,848 patients, 1,001 of whom suffered relapse or death. Intravenous methotrexate reduced non-CNS rather than CNS relapses, and hence, the addition of intravenous methotrexate to a treatment regimen including radiotherapy or long-term intrathecal therapy improved event-free survival, with a 17% reduction in the event rate (95% confidence interval, 6% to 27%; P =.003). The event-free survival at 10 years in these trials was 61.9% without intravenous methotrexate and 68.1% with intravenous methotrexate. There was no significant difference in survival (14% death rate reduction; P =.09). There were insufficient randomly assigned patients to adequately address other questions, such as effect of different doses. No evidence was found of differences, between trials or between subgroups of different types of patients, in the relative effects of treatment.
Radiotherapy can be replaced by long-term intrathecal therapy. Intravenous methotrexate gives some additional benefit by reducing non-CNS relapses.
Journal of Clinical Oncology 06/2003; 21(9):1798-809. · 18.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the clinical heterogeneity among patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and various 11q23 abnormalities, we analyzed data on 497 infants, children and young adults treated between 1983 and 1995 by 11 cooperative groups and single institutions. The substantial sample size allowed separate analyses according to age younger or older than 12 months for the various cytogenetic subsets. Infants with t(4;11) ALL had an especially dismal prognosis when their disease was characterized by a poor early response to prednisone (P=0.0005 for overall comparison; 5-year event-free survival (EFS), 0 vs 23+/-+/-12% s.e. for those with good response), or age less than 3 months (P=0.0003, 5-year EFS, 5+/-+/-5% vs 23.4+/-+/-4% for those over 3 months). A poor prednisone response also appeared to confer a worse outcome for older children with t(4;11) ALL. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation failed to improve outcome in either age group. Among patients with t(11;19) ALL, those with a T-lineage immunophenotype, who were all over 1 year of age, had a better outcome than patients over 1 year of age with B-lineage ALL (overall comparison, P=0.065; 5-year EFS, 88+/-+/-13 vs 46+/-14%). In the heterogeneous subgroup with del(11)(q23), National Cancer Institute-Rome risk criteria based on age and leukocyte count had prognostic significance (P=0.04 for overall comparison; 5-year EFS, 64+/-+/-8% (high risk) vs 83+/-+/-6% (standard risk)). This study illustrates the marked clinical heterogeneity among and within subgroups of infants or older children with ALL and specific 11q23 abnormalities, and identifies patients at particularly high risk of failure who may benefit from innovative therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study identifies multiple copies of the AML1 gene on a duplicated chromosome 21, dup(21), as a recurrent abnormality in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Clusters of AML1 signals were visible at interphase by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). In metaphase, they appeared tandemly duplicated on marker chromosomes of five distinct morphological types: large or small acrocentrics, metacentrics, submetacentrics or rings. The markers comprised only chromosome 21 material. Karyotypes were near-diploid and, besides dup(21), no other established chromosomal changes were observed. A total of 20 patients, 1.5 and <0.5% among consecutive series of childhood and adult ALL respectively, showed this phenomenon. Their median age was 9 years, white cell counts were low and all had a pre-B/common immunophenotype. Although this series is not the first report of this abnormality, it is the largest, permitting a detailed description of the variety of morphological forms that duplicated chromosome 21 can assume.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The single most important prognostic determinant in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) is effective therapy and changes in therapy may influence the significance of other risk factors. The effect of intensified therapy on the importance of currently recognized phenotypic and genotypic determinants of outcome was assessed in 2090 children enrolled on the Medical Research Council United Kingdom acute lymphoblastic leukaemia XI (MRC UKALL XI) protocol. Treatment allocation was not determined by risk factors. Multivariate analysis confirmed the dominant influence on prognosis of age, sex and presenting white cell count (WCC). After allowing for these features, blast karyotype, d 8 marrow blast percentage and remission status at the end of induction therapy were the only remaining significant predictors of outcome. Organomegaly, haemoglobin concentration, French--American--British type, body mass index, presence of central nervous system disease at diagnosis, immunophenotype and presence of TEL/AML1 fusion gene (examined in a subset of 659 patients) either had no significant effect on outcome or were significant only in univariate analysis. Among karyotype abnormalities with an independent influence on prognosis, high hyperdiploidy (> 50 chromosomes) was shown to be favourable, whereas near haploidy (23--29 chromosomes), presence of the Philadelphia chromosome, t(4;11) and abnormalities affecting the short arm of chromosome 9 [abn (9p)] were adverse risk factors. Early responders to therapy, determined by residual marrow infiltration after 8 d of induction therapy, had a good outcome, while the small proportion of patients who did not achieve a complete remission by the end of induction therapy had a poor outcome. A third block of late intensification was shown to improve event-free survival by 8% at 5 years. The effect of these risk factors was not significantly different between those randomized to the third intensification block and those not randomized to a third block.
British Journal of Haematology 04/2001; 113(1):103-14. · 4.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Results of three consecutive completed UK trials (1980-1997) for childhood lymphoblastic leukaemia are presented. National accrual has progressively increased so that over 90% of all the country's ALL cases were treated on the latest trial reported, UKALLXI. From 1980 to 1990, event-free and overall survival progressively improved, following adoption of an American therapy template and use of two post-remission intensification modules. Since 1990 despite demonstration of the benefit of a third intensification module overall event-free survival (EFS) has not improved further. Survival remains high due to a good retrieval rate especially for those relapsing off treatment after receipt of two intensification pulses. Possible reasons for the plateau in event-free survival (including type and dose of induction steroid, dropping of induction anthracycline, type and dose of asparaginase, gaps early in therapy following intensification, and overall lack of compliance in maintenance) are being explored in the latest protocol ALL '97. Cranial irradiation had been successfully replaced by a long course of intrathecal methotrexate injections for the majority of patients. Age (<1 year >10 years) sex (male) and white count >50 x 10(9)/l plus slow initial bone marrow clearance were consistently the most important independent prognostic indicators during this time period. Rome/NCI criteria accurately predict standard and high-risk groups for B cell lineage, but not consistently for T cell disease. This international collaborative venture might help us to define those truly at highest risk, and how we can optimise therapy for specific subgroups including T-ALL and those with unfavourable cytogenetics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although reinduction rates are good for children with relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukaemia there is no consensus on whether bone marrow transplantation (BMT) is the most effective treatment to prolong second remission.
Analyses comparing the outcome of related donor allogeneic BMT (related allograft) with chemotherapy are unreliable because of selection biases. To avoid these biases, the MRC UKALL R1 trial was analysed by HLA-matched donor availability.
No significant difference in outcome was found between the donor and no donor groups. The donor group had a non-significant eight-year event-free survival (EFS) advantage of 8%, (95% confidence interval -9%-24%) over the no donor group. Patients with a first remission less than two years appeared to benefit most from having a donor, although the effect was only marginally significantly different from patients with longer first remission. Analysis by treatment received gave similar results, with BMT patients having a 5% (P = 0.8) eight-year EFS advantage over patients who received chemotherapy.
Related allograft was not found to be significantly better than chemotherapy, but there was the possibility of a moderate EFS benefit with related allograft. especially in patients with a short first remission.
Annals of Oncology 09/2000; 11(8):999-1006. · 7.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Treatment of children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) aims to cure all patients with as little toxicity as possible and, if possible, to restrict further intensification of chemotherapy to patients with an increased risk of relapse. However in Medical Research Council (MRC) trial UKALL X two short myeloablative blocks of intensification therapy given at weeks 5 and 20 were of benefit to children in all risk groups. The successor trials, MRC UKALL XI and MRC ALL97, tested whether further intensification would continue to benefit all patients by randomising them to receive, or not, an extended third intensification block at week 35. After a median follow-up of 4 years (range 5 months to 8 years), 5 year projected event-free survival was superior at 68% for the 894 patients allocated a third intensification compared with 60% for the 887 patients who did not receive one (odds ratio 0.75, 95% CI 0.63-0.90, 2P = 0.002). This difference was almost entirely due to a reduced incidence of bone marrow relapses in the third intensification arm (140 of 891 in the third intensification arm vs. 171 of 883 in the no third intensification, 2P = 0.02). Subgroup analysis suggests benefit of the third intensification for all risk categories. Overall survival to date is no different in the two arms, indicating that a greater proportion of those not receiving a third intensification arm and subsequently relapsing can be salvaged. These results indicate that there is benefit of additional intensification for all risk subgroups of childhood ALL.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have examined the toxicity and overall outcome of the Medical Research Council UKALL R1 protocol for 256 patients with relapsed childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). Second remission was achieved in over 95% of patients. Two patients died during induction and seven patients died of resistant disease. The overall actuarial event-free survival (EFS) at 5 years for all patients experiencing a first relapse was 46% (95% CI 40-52). Duration of first remission, site of relapse, age at diagnosis and sex emerged as factors of prognostic significance. Five-year EFS was only 7% for children relapsing in the bone marrow within 2 years of diagnosis, but was 77% for those relapsing without bone marrow involvement > 2.5 years from diagnosis. All analyses in this report are by treatment received. For those receiving chemotherapy alone, the 5-year EFS was 48%; for autologous bone marrow transplantation (BMT), the 5-year EFS was 47%; for unrelated donor BMT, it was 52%; and for related donor BMT, the 5-year EFS was 45%. The groups, however, were not comparable with respect to risk factor profile, and therefore direct comparison of EFS is misleading. Adjustment for time to transplant and prognostic factors was used to reduce the effects of biases between treatment groups, but did not suggest benefit for any particular treatment. There was failure of our planned randomization scheme in this trial with only 9% of those eligible being randomized, which highlights the difficulties in running randomized trials especially in patients who have relapsed from a previous trial. The optimal treatment for relapsed ALL therefore remains uncertain. Alternative approaches are clearly needed for those with early bone marrow relapse if outcome is to improve.
British Journal of Haematology 03/2000; 108(3):531-43. · 4.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Twenty new cases of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) with the dicentric chromosome dic(9;20)(p1113;q11) are presented. This chromosomal abnormality is difficult to identify from G-banding alone. It masquerades as monosomy 20 and is only accurately identified by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Monosomy 20 was found in 59/2790 patients with successful karyotypes entered to the Leukaemia Research Fund/UK Cancer Cytogenetics Group Karyotype Database in ALL (LRF/UKCCG Karyotype Database). FISH revealed dic(9;20) in 20/25 cases with available material. Extra copies of chromosome 21 were found in 8 of the 20 cases. Patients were 14 females and six males, aged 1-32 years (median 4 years), with leukocyte counts of 2-536 (median 23) x 109/l and immunophenotypes of common or pre-B ALL (17 cases), T-ALL (one case) or unknown (two cases). Four patients relapsed at 2, 22, 28 and 47 months and two died at 49 and 63 months (median follow-up 37 months). FISH studies on the remaining five patients showed one with monosomy 20 and four with other rearrangements of the chromosome. This study has increased the number of reported cases of dic(9;20) from 17 to 37. It has identified dic(9;20) in one case of T-ALL and shows an association of this translocation with trisomy 21.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Results of three consecutive completed UK trials (1980–1997) for childhood lymphoblastic leukaemia are presented. National accrual has progressively increased so that over 90% of all the country's ALL cases were treated on the latest trial reported, UKALLXI. From 1980 to 1990, event-free and overall survival progressively improved, following adoption of an American therapy template and use of two post-remission intensification modules. Since 1990 despite demonstration of the benefit of a third intensification module overall event-free survival (EFS) has not improved further. Survival remains high due to a good retrieval rate especially for those relapsing off treatment after receipt of two intensification pulses. Possible reasons for the plateau in event-free survival (including type and dose of induction steroid, dropping of induction anthracycline, type and dose of asparaginase, gaps early in therapy following intensification, and overall lack of compliance in maintenance) are being explored in the latest protocol ALL ’97. Cranial irradiation had been successfully replaced by a long course of intrathecal methotrexate injections for the majority of patients. Age (10 years) sex (male) and white count >50 × 109/l plus slow initial bone marrow clearance were consistently the most important independent prognostic indicators during this time period. Rome/NCI criteria accurately predict standard and high-risk groups for B cell lineage, but not consistently for T cell disease. This international collaborative venture might help us to define those truly at highest risk, and how we can optimise therapy for specific subgroups including T-ALL and those with unfavourable cytogenetics.