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The Hague, Netherlands

Tong W.H.,Erasmus MC Sophia Childrens Hospital | Pieters R.,Erasmus MC Sophia Childrens Hospital | Pieters R.,Dutch Childhood Oncology Group | Kaspers G.J.L.,VU University Amsterdam | And 9 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2014

This study prospectively analyzed the efficacy of very prolonged courses of pegylated Escherichia coli asparaginase (PEGasparaginase) and Erwinia asparaginase in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients. Patients received 15 PEGasparaginase infusions (2500 IU/m2 every 2 weeks) in intensification after receiving native E coli asparaginase in induction. In case of allergy to or silent inactivation of PEGasparaginase, Erwinia asparaginase (20 000 IU/m2 2-3 times weekly) was given. Eighty-nine patients were enrolled in the PEGasparaginase study. Twenty (22%) of the PEGasparaginase- treated patients developed an allergy; 7 (8%) showed silent inactivation. The PEGasparaginase level was 0 in all allergic patients (grade 1-4). Patients without hypersensitivity to PEGasparaginase had serummean trough levels of 899 U/L. Fifty-nine patients were included in the Erwinia asparaginase study; 2 (3%) developed an allergy andnone silent inactivation. Ninety-six percent had at least 1 trough level ≥100U/L. The serum asparagine level was not always completely depleted with Erwinia asparaginase in contrast to PEGasparaginase. The presence of asparaginase antibodies was related to allergies and silent inactivation, but with low specificity (64%). Use of native E coli asparaginase in induction leads to high hypersensitivity rates to PEGasparaginase in intensification. Therefore, PEGasparaginase should be used upfront in induction, and we suggest that the dose could be lowered. Switching to Erwinia asparaginase leads to effective asparaginase levels in most patients. Therapeutic drug monitoring has been added to our ALL-11 protocol to individualize asparaginase therapy. © 2014 by The American Society of Hematology.

Gibson B.E.S.,Royal Hospital for Sick Children | Webb D.K.H.,Hospital for Sick Children Great Ormond Street | Howman A.J.,University of Birmingham | de Graaf S.S.N.,Dutch Childhood Oncology Group | And 3 more authors.
British Journal of Haematology | Year: 2011

The Medical Research Council Acute Myeloid Leukaemia 12 (MRC AML12) trial (children) addressed the optimal anthracenedione/anthracycline in induction and the optimal number of courses of consolidation chemotherapy. 504 children (<16years) with AML were randomized between mitoxantrone/cytarabine/etoposide or daunorubicin/cytarabine/etoposide as induction chemotherapy and 270 entered a second randomization between a total of four or five courses of treatment. Ten-year event-free (EFS) and overall survival (OS) was 54% and 63% respectively; the relapse rate was 35%. There was no difference in complete remission rate between the induction regimens, but there was a benefit for mitoxantrone with regard to relapse rate [32% vs. 39%; Hazard ratio (HR) 0·73; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·54, 1·00] and disease-free survival (DFS; 63% vs. 55%; HR 0·72; 95% CI 0·54, 0·96). However, this did not translate into a better EFS or OS (HR 0·84; 95% CI 0·63, 1·12). Results of the second randomization did not show a survival benefit for a fifth course of treatment (HR 1·01; 95% CI 0·63, 1·62), suggesting a ceiling of benefit for conventional chemotherapy and demonstrating the need for new agents. EFS was superior compared to the preceding trial AML10, partly due to fewer deaths in remission, highlighting the importance of supportive care. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Schrappe M.,University of Kiel | Hunger S.P.,Aurora University | Pui C.-H.,University of Tennessee Health Science Center | Saha V.,University of Manchester | And 18 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2012

Background: Failure of remission-induction therapy is a rare but highly adverse event in children and adolescents with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Methods: We identified induction failure, defined by the persistence of leukemic blasts in blood, bone marrow, or any extramedullary site after 4 to 6 weeks of remission-induction therapy, in 1041 of 44,017 patients (2.4%) 0 to 18 years of age with newly diagnosed ALL who were treated by a total of 14 cooperative study groups between 1985 and 2000. We analyzed the relationships among disease characteristics, treatments administered, and outcomes in these patients. Results: Patients with induction failure frequently presented with high-risk features, including older age, high leukocyte count, leukemia with a T-cell phenotype, the Philadelphia chromosome, and 11q23 rearrangement. With a median follow-up period of 8.3 years (range, 1.5 to 22.1), the 10-year survival rate (±SE) was estimated at only 32±1%. An age of 10 years or older, T-cell leukemia, the presence of an 11q23 rearrangement, and 25% or more blasts in the bone marrow at the end of induction therapy were associated with a particularly poor outcome. High hyperdiploidy (a modal chromosome number >50) and an age of 1 to 5 years were associated with a favorable outcome in patients with precursor B-cell leukemia. Allogeneic stem-cell transplantation from matched, related donors was associated with improved outcomes in T-cell leukemia. Children younger than 6 years of age with precursor B-cell leukemia and no adverse genetic features had a 10-year survival rate of 72±5% when treated with chemotherapy only. Conclusions: Pediatric ALL with induction failure is highly heterogeneous. Patients who have T-cell leukemia appear to have a better outcome with allogeneic stem-cell transplantation than with chemotherapy, whereas patients who have precursor B-cell leukemia without other adverse features appear to have a better outcome with chemotherapy. (Funded by Deutsche Krebshilfe and others.). Copyright © 2012 Massachusetts Medical Society.

Tong W.H.,Erasmus MC Sophia Childrens Hospital | Pieters R.,Erasmus MC Sophia Childrens Hospital | Pieters R.,Princess Maxima Center for Pediatric Oncology | de Groot-Kruseman H.A.,Dutch Childhood Oncology Group | And 4 more authors.
Haematologica | Year: 2014

We prospectively studied the incidence and clinical course of hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterolemia during very prolonged use of asparaginase in relation to levels of asparaginase activity in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. We also evaluated the incidence of pancreatitis, thrombosis, hyperammonemia and central neurotoxicity and their association with asparaginase activity levels. Eighty-nine patients were treated according to the Dutch Childhood Oncology Group Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia 10 medium-risk intensification protocol, which includes 15 doses of PEGasparaginase (2,500 IU/m2) over 30 weeks. Erwinia asparaginase (20,000 IU/m2) was administered when allergy to or silent inactivation of PEGasparaginase occurred. Triglyceride, cholesterol and ammonia levels increased rapidly in children treated with PEGasparaginase and remained temporarily elevated, but normalized after administration of the last asparaginase dose. Among the patients treated with PEGasparaginase, hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterolemia (grade 3/4) were found in 47% and 25%, respectively. The correlation between PEGasparaginase activity levels and triglyceride levels was strongest at week 5 (Spearman correlation coefficient=0.36, P=0.005). The triglyceride levels were higher in children ≥10 years old than in younger patients (<10 years old) after adjustment for type of asparaginase preparation: median 4.9 mmol/L versus 1.6 mmol/L (P<0.001). In patients receiving Erwinia asparaginase, triglyceride levels increased in the first weeks as well, but no grade 3/4 dyslipidemia was found. Hyperammonemia (grade 3/4) was only found in patients treated with Erwinia asparaginase (9%). Thrombosis occurred in 4.5%, pancreatitis in 7%, and central neurotoxicity in 9% of patients using either of the two agents; these toxicities were not related to levels of asparaginase activity or to triglyceride levels. In conclusion, severe dyslipidemia occurred frequently, but was temporary and was not associated with relevant clinical events and should not, therefore, be considered a reason for modifying asparaginase treatment. Dyslipidemia was the only toxicity related to levels of asparaginase activity. © 2014 Ferrata Storti Foundation.

Kamps W.A.,Dutch Childhood Oncology Group | Kamps W.A.,University of Groningen | Van Der Pal-De Bruin K.M.,Dutch Childhood Oncology Group | Veerman A.J.P.,Dutch Childhood Oncology Group | And 6 more authors.
Leukemia | Year: 2010

The Dutch Childhood Oncology Group (DCOG) has used two treatment strategies for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) based on Pinkel's St Jude Total Therapy or the Berlin-Frankfurt-Münster (BFM) backbone. In four successive protocols, 1734 children were treated. Studies ALL-6 and ALL-9 followed the Total Therapy approach; cranial irradiation was replaced by medium-dose methotrexate infusions and prolonged triple intrathecal therapy; dexamethasone was used instead of prednisone. Studies ALL-7 and ALL-8 had a BFM backbone, including more intensive remission induction, early reinduction and maintenance therapy without vincristine and prednisone pulses. The 5-year event-free survival and overall survival increased from 65.4 to 80.6% (P<0.001) and from 78.7 to 86.4% (P0.07) in ALL-7 and ALL-9, respectively. In ALL-7 and ALL-8 National Cancer Institute (NCI) high-risk criteria, male gender, T-lineage ALL and high white blood cells (WBCs) predict poor outcome. In ALL-9 NCI criteria, gender, WBC 100 × 109/l, and T-lineage ALL have prognostic impact. We conclude that the chemotherapy-only approach in children with ALL in Total Therapy-based strategies and BFM-backbone treatment does not jeopardize survival and preserves cognitive functioning. This experience is implemented in the current DCOG-ALL-10 study using a BFM backbone and minimal residual disease-based stratification. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

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