The long-term outcome of 1390 children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), treated in two successive clinical trials (Taiwan Pediatric Oncology Group (TPOG)-ALL-97 and TPOG-ALL-2002) between 1997 and 2007, is reported. The event-free survival improved significantly (P0.0004) over this period, 69.31.9% in 1997-2001 to 77.41.7% in 2002-2007. A randomized trial in TPOG-97 testing L-asparaginase versus epidoxorubicin in combination with vincristine and prednisolone for remission induction in standard-risk (SR; low-risk) patients yielded similar outcomes. Another randomized trial, in TPOG-2002, showed that for SR patients, two reinduction courses did not improve long-term outcome over one course. Decreasing use of prophylactic cranial irradiation in the period 1997-2008 was not associated with increased rates of CNS relapse, prompting complete omission of prophylactic cranial irradiation from TPOG protocols, beginning in 2009. Decreased use of etoposide and cranial irradiation likely contributed to the low incidence of second cancers. High-risk B-lineage ALL, T-cell, CD10 negativity, t(9;22), infant, and higher leukocyte count were consistently adverse factors, whereas hyperdiploidy 50 was a consistently favorable factor. Higher leukocyte count and t(9;22) retained prognostic significance in both TPOG-97 and TPOG-2002 by multivariate analysis. Although long-term outcome in TPOG clinical trials is comparable with results being reported worldwide, the persistent strength of certain prognostic variables and the lower frequencies of favorable outcome predictors, such as ETV6-RUNX1 and hyperdiploidy 50, in Taiwanese children warrant renewed effort to cure a higher proportion of patients while preserving their quality of life.
ASJC Scopus subject areas