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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 87

of 'Overview of the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children and adolescents'

Consolidation therapy with antimetabolite-based therapy in standard-risk acute lymphocytic leukemia of childhood: a Pediatric Oncology Group Study.
Harris MB, Shuster JJ, Pullen DJ, Borowitz MJ, Carroll AJ, Behm FG, Land VJ
J Clin Oncol. 1998;16(8):2840.
PURPOSE: To develop antimetabolite-based consolidation regimens that minimize acute and long-term toxicities and improve the survival rate of children with standard-risk B-lineage acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Seven hundred twenty-seven eligible patients with standard-risk early pre-B ALL were registered onto the study. Seven hundred sixteen patients attained a complete remission (CR) after induction therapy. Of these, 114 patients were randomized to a different regimen and were the subject of a separate report. Six hundred two patients were randomized to receive one the following regimens: intermediate-dose methotrexate (IDMTX) with leucovorin rescue on weeks 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, and 22 (regimen A); regimen A plus asparaginase (ASP) administered intramuscularly (i.m.) weekly for 24 weeks (regimen B); or regimen A plus a 24-hour infusion of cytarabine (AraC) with each IDMTX (regimen C). After consolidation, patients were placed on maintenance therapy through week 156. Regimens A and C were opened in February 1986, and regimen B in May 1987. Comparisons are based on concurrently randomized patients (May 1987 to January 1991 between regimens A and B, and February 1986 to January 1991 between regimens A and C).
RESULTS: The 5-year continuous CR (CCR) rates were not significantly different: A versus B, 78.1% (3.9 +/- SE) versus 83.3% +/- 3.5% and A versus C, 79.4% +/- 3.2% versus 83.5% +/- 2.9%; P by one-sided log-rank tests were .27 and .34, respectively. Significant treatment differences were not found with regard to sex, rate of testicular and CNS relapse, or CNS complications. During consolidation, regimen C had significantly more bacterial infections (P = .0032) and days spent in the hospital (P<.001) compared with regimen A.
CONCLUSION: We were unable to show a statistical advantage of adding either ASP or AraC to IDMTX in terms of improvement in event-free survival (EFS).
Tomorrow's Children's Institute, Hackensack University Medical Center, NJ, USA. mharris@humed.com