Current results of studies of immunophenotype-, age- and leukocyte-based therapy for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia

W. Crist, J. Shuster, T. Look, M. Borowitz, F. Behm, P. Bowman, L. Frankel, J. Pullen, R. Krance, P. Steuber, B. Camitta, M. Amylon, M. Link, V. Land

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


From February 1986 to January 1991 the Pediatric Oncology Group (POG) treated 2404 children or adolescents with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) on immunophenotype (T-, B-, Pre-B, or Early pre-B-cell), age, and leukocyte count based treatment protocols (ALinC 14, T-cell 3, B-cell and infant leukemia studies). The immunophenotypic subgroups comprised 78.9% B-precursor cell, 15.1% T-cell, 2.0% B-cell, and 4% infant ALL. Patients with B-progenitor cell ALL were stratified by age and leukocyte count and randomized to receive induction therapy comprised of vincristine, prednisone, and asparaginase with triple intrathecal chemotherapy (methotrexate, hydrocortisone, cytarabine), followed by intensification with moderate-dose MTX (Regimen A), moderate-dose MTX plus asparaginase (Regimen B), moderate-dose MTX plus cytarabine given early (Regimen C), or moderate-dose MTX plus cytarabine given over the first 16 months of therapy (Regimen D). Continuation therapy comprised mercaptopurine and methotrexate with vincristine plus prednisone pulses. Central nervous system preventive treatment was continued for two years. Patients with T-cell or B-cell ALL or infants < 1 yr old were treated on individual very intensive multiagent therapy protocols. The 4-year event-free survival for all patients was 66.4%±2.4%; B-precursor ALL ≈72% , T-ALL ≈50%, B-ALL ≈ 60%, and infants <1 yr old ≈16.5%. We conclude that about two-thirds of newly diagnosed children with ALL can be cured with this approach which spares the majority of children exposure to alkylating agents, anthracylines, epipodophylotoxins, and irradiation, diminishing the risks of serious acute and late effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-165
Number of pages4
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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