Dutch Childhood Oncology Group

The Hague, Netherlands

Dutch Childhood Oncology Group

The Hague, Netherlands

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Waanders E.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Van Der Velden V.H.J.,Rotterdam University | Van Der Schoot C.E.,University of Amsterdam | Van Leeuwen F.N.,Radboud University Nijmegen | And 9 more authors.
Leukemia | Year: 2011

Response to therapy as determined by minimal residual disease (MRD) is currently used for stratification in treatment protocols for pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). However, the large MRD-based medium risk group (MRD-M; 50-60% of the patients) harbors many relapses. We analyzed MRD in 131 uniformly treated precursor-B-ALL patients and evaluated whether combined MRD and IKZF1 (Ikaros zinc finger-1) alteration status can improve risk stratification. We confirmed the strong prognostic significance of MRD classification, which was independent of IKZF1 alterations. Notably, 8 of the 11 relapsed cases in the large MRD-M group (n81; 62%) harbored an IKZF1 alteration. Integration of both MRD and IKZF1 status resulted in a favorable outcome group (n104; 5 relapses) and a poor outcome group (n27; 19 relapses), and showed a stronger prognostic value than each of the established risk factors alone (hazard ratio (95%CI): 24.98 (8.29-75.31)). Importantly, whereas MRD and IKZF1 status alone identified only 46 and 54% of the relapses, respectively, their integrated use allowed prediction of 79% of all the relapses with 93% specificity. Because of the unprecedented sensitivity in upfront relapse prediction, the combined parameters have high potential for future risk stratification, particularly for patients originally classified as non-high risk, such as the large group of MRD-M patients. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


Van Der Veer A.,Erasmus University Rotterdam | Zaliova M.,University of Kiel | Zaliova M.,Charles University | Mottadelli F.,University of Milan Bicocca | And 16 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2014

Childhood BCR-ABL1-positive B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL) has an unfavorable outcome and shows high frequency of IKZF1 deletions. The prognostic value of IKZF1 deletions was evaluated in 2 cohorts of BCR-ABL1-positive BCP-ALL patients, before tyrosine kinase inhibitors (pre-TKI) and after introduction of imatinib (in the European Study for Philadelphia-Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia [EsPhALL]). In 126/191 (66%) cases an IKZF1 deletion was detected. In the pre-TKI cohort, IKZF1-deleted patients had an unfavorable outcome compared with wild-type patients (4-year disease-free survival [DFS] of 30.0 ± 6.8% vs 57.5 ± 9.4%; P = .01). In the EsPhALL cohort, the IKZF1 deletions were associated with an unfavorable prognosis in patients stratified in the good-risk arm based on early clinical response (4-year DFS of 51.9 ± 8.8% for IKZF1-deleted vs 78.6 ± 13.9% for IKZF1 wild-type; P = .03), even when treated with imatinib (4-year DFS of 55.5 ± 9.5% for IKZF1-deleted vs 75.0 ± 21.7% for IKZF1 wild-type; P = .05). In conclusion, the highly unfavorable outcome for childhood BCR-ABL1-positive BCP-ALL with IKZF1 deletions, irrespective of imatinib exposure, underscores the need for alternative therapies. In contrast, good-risk patients with IKZF1 wild-type responded remarkably well to imatinib-containing regimens, providing a rationale to potentially avoid hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation in this subset of patients. © 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.


Buitenkamp T.D.,Erasmus MC Sophia Childrens Hospital | de Haas V.,Dutch Childhood Oncology Group | Pieters R.,Erasmus MC Sophia Childrens Hospital | Pieters R.,Dutch Childhood Oncology Group | And 2 more authors.
Haematologica | Year: 2010

Background Children with Down syndrome have an increased risk of developing acute lymphoblastic leukemia and a poor tolerance of methotrexate. This latter problem is assumed to be caused by a higher cellular sensitivity of tissues in children with Down syndrome. However, whether differences in pharmacokinetics play a role is unknown. Design and Methods.We compared methotrexate-induced toxicity and pharmacokinetics in a retrospective case-control study between patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who did or did not have Down syndrome. Population pharmacokinetic models were fitted to data from all individuals simultaneously using non-linear mixed effect modeling. Results. Overall, 468 courses of methotrexate (1-5 g/m2) were given to 44 acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients with Down syndrome and to 87 acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients without Down syndrome. Grade 3-4 gastrointestinal toxicity was significantly more frequent in the children with Down syndrome than in those without (25.5% versus 3.9%; P=0.001). The occurrence of grade 3-4 gastrointestinal toxicity was not related to plasma methotrexate area under the curve. Methotrexate clearance was 5% lower in the acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients with Down syndrome (P=0.001); however, this small difference is probably clinically not relevant, because no significant differences in methotrexate plasma levels were detected at 24 and 48 hours. Conclusions We did not find evidence of differences in the pharmacokinetics of methotrexate between patients with and without Down syndrome which could explain the higher frequency of gastrointestinal toxicity and the greater need for methotrexate dose reductions in patients with Down syndrome. Hence, these problems are most likely explained by differential pharmacodynamic effects in the tissues between children with and without Down syndrome. Although the number of patients was limited to draw conclusions, we feel that it may be safe in children with Down syndrome to start with intermediate dosages of methotrexate (1-3 g/m2) and monitor the patients carefully. © 2010 Ferrata Storti Foundation.


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.


Van Der Veer A.,Erasmus Medical Center | Waanders E.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Pieters R.,Erasmus Medical Center | Pieters R.,Dutch Childhood Oncology Group | And 17 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2013

Most relapses in childhood B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL) are not predicted using current prognostic features. Here, we determined the cooccurrence and independent prognostic relevance of 3 recently identified prognostic features: BCR-ABL1-like gene signature, deletions in IKZF1, and high CRLF2 messenger RNA expression (CRLF2-high). These features were determined in 4 trials representing 1128 childrenwith ALL: DCOG ALL-8, ALL9, ALL10, and Cooperative ALL (COALL)-97/03. BCR-ABL1-like, IKZF1-deleted, and CRLF2-high cases constitute 33.7% of BCR-ABL1-negative, MLL wild-type BCP-ALL cases, of which BCR-ABL1-like and IKZF1 deletion (co)occurred most frequently. Higher cumulative incidence of relapse was found for BCR-ABL1-like and IKZF1-deleted, but not CRLF2-high, cases relative to remaining BCP-ALL cases, reflecting the observations in each of the cohorts analyzed separately. No relapses occurred among cases with CRLF2-high as single feature, whereas 62.9% of all relapses in BCR-ABL1-negative, MLL wild-type BCP-ALL occurred in cases with BCR-ABL1-like signature and/or IKZF1 deletion. Both the BCR-ABL1-like signature and IKZF1 deletions were prognostic features independent of conventional prognostic markers in a multivariate model, and both remained prognostic among cases with intermediate minimal residual disease. The BCR-ABL1-like signature and an IKZF1 deletion, but not CRLF2-high, are prognostic factors and are clinically of importance to identify high-risk patients who require more intensive and/or alternative therapies. © 2013 by The American Society of Hematology.


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.


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.


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.


Denys B.,Erasmus Medical Center | Denys B.,Ghent University | Van Der Sluijs-Gelling A.J.,Dutch Childhood Oncology Group | Homburg C.,Sanquin | And 7 more authors.
Leukemia | Year: 2013

Most current treatment protocols for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) include minimal residual disease (MRD) diagnostics, generally based on PCR analysis of rearranged antigen receptor genes. Although flow cytometry (FCM) can be used for MRD detection as well, discordant FCM and PCR results are obtained in 5-20% of samples. We evaluated whether 6-color FCM, including additional markers and new marker combinations, improved the results. Bone marrow samples were obtained from 363 ALL patients at day 15, 33 and 78 and MRD was analyzed using 6-color (218 patients) or 4-color (145 patients) FCM in parallel to routine PCR-based MRD diagnostics. Compared with 4-color FCM, 6-color FCM significantly improved the concordance with PCR-based MRD data (88% versus 96%); particularly the specificity of the MRD analysis improved. However, PCR remained more sensitive at levels <0.01%. MRD-based risk groups were similar between 6-color FCM and PCR in 68% of patients, most discrepancies being medium risk by PCR and standard risk by FCM. Alternative interpretation of the PCR data, aimed at prevention of false-positive MRD results, changed the risk group to standard risk in half (52%) of these discordant cases. In conclusion, 6-color FCM significantly improves MRD analysis in ALL but remains less sensitive than PCR-based MRD-diagnostics. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

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