Treatment of high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children using the AL851 and ALHR88 protocols: a report from the Kyushu-Yamaguchi Children's Cancer Study Group in Japan.Med Pediatr Oncol. 1996 Jan; 26(1):10-9.MP
A total of 125 children, who were diagnosed as having high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), were treated with two consecutive protocols designated as AL851 (1985-1988) and ALHR88 (1988-1990). All patients received induction therapy consisting of vincristine (VCR), prednisolone (PSL), daunorubicin (DNR), and I-asparaginase (I-Asp). In the ALHR88 protocol, the patients whose blasts in the bone marrow (BM) were > or = 25% on day 14 of induction therapy and who were classified into T-cell type received additional cytosine arabinoside (AraC). After consolidation with intermediate-dose methotrexate (MTX), reinduction therapy including VCR, dexamethasone, and adriamycin followed by high-dose AraC was done for all patients. Intrathecal MTX and 24Gy of cranial irradiation were used to prevent central nervous system leukemia. A maintenance therapy consisting of 6-mercaptopurine, cyclophosphamide, MTX, DNR, VCR, and AraC was administered for 3 years after achieving a complete remission (CR). CR was achieved in 51/55 (92.7%) for AL851 and 68/70 (97.1%) for ALHR88. The 5-year event-free survival rates were 49.1 +/- 6.7% in AL851 and 62.5 +/- 6.1% in ALHR88. The factors related to a poor prognosis were a high initial leukocyte count of greater than 50 x 10(9)/L (P < 0.001), an L2 morphology of leukemic cells by FAB classification (P = 0.009), the chromosomal abnormality (P = 0.004) and high residual leukemic cells in BM (> or = 25%) on day 14 of induction therapy (P < 0.001). Taking these factors into consideration, more intensive protocols were started in 1990 for the patients with high-risk ALL.