Reinduction therapy for advanced or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia of childhood
Patient Acceptance of Health Care
Surgical Procedures, Operative
Thirty-four children after multiple relapse or with refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia were treated with two novel combinations of high-dose cytosine arabinoside, methotrexate, asparaginase, vincristine, and prednisone. The first combination was given to 19 patients. Oncolytic response and marrow hypoplasia was achieved in all. There were four early infectious deaths. Thirteen of the remaining 15 (87%) in whom the response to therapy could be evaluated achieved complete remission. Two achieved good partial remissions. The median duration of complete remission and survival on study was 8 and 10 months, respectively. The four proven and three suspected fungal infections seen in the initial 19 patients was the major toxicity observed. The therapy was modified in the last 15 patients to retain efficacy while reducing the period of neutropenia from a median of 28 to 22 days. No deep-seated fungal infections were seen in these patients. Twelve (80%) achieved a complete remission. Three had an oncolytic response without achieving remission. Eighty-three percent of the 30 evaluable patients, or 74% of all patients entered on study, achieved remission. It is anticipated that the therapy described here will not only achieve another remission in the majority of patients with advanced ALL but that the patients will be able to proceed to alternate therapies with potentially more durable benefit.