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Amsacrine combined with etoposide and methylprednisolone is a feasible and safe component in first-line intensified treatment of pediatric patients with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia in CoALL08-09 trial.

Pediatric blood & cancer

Authors: Kerstin Mezger, Sabine Ebert, Hannah Elisa Muhle, Udo Zur Stadt, Arndt Borkhardt, Dagmar Dilloo, Jörg Faber, Tobias Feuchtinger, Thomas Imschweiler, Norbert Jorch, Arnulf Pekrun, Irene Schmid, Franziska Schramm, Martin Zimmermann, Martin A Horstmann, Gabriele Escherich

BACKGROUND: The prognosis of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has improved considerably over the past five decades. However, to achieve cure in patients with refractory or relapsed disease, novel treatment options are necessary.

METHODS: In the multicenter trial Cooperative Study Group for Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (CoALL)08-09, one additional treatment element consisting of the rarely used chemotherapeutic agent amsacrine combined with etoposide and methylprednisolone (AEP) (amsacrine 2 × 100 mg/m , etoposide 2 × 500 mg/m , and methylprednisolone 4 × 1000 mg/m ) was incorporated into the first-line treatment of pediatric patients with poor treatment responses at the end of induction (EOI), measured by minimal residual disease (MRD). These patients were stratified into a high-risk intensified arm (HR-I), including an AEP element at the end of consolidation. Patients with induction failure (IF), that is, with lack of cytomorphological remission EOI, were eligible for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) after remission had been reached. These patients received AEP as a part of their MRD-guided bridging-to-transplant treatments.

RESULTS: A significant improvement in probability of overall survival (pOS) was noted for the CoALL08-09 HR-I patients compared to MRD-matched patients from the preceding CoALL07-03 trial in the absence of severe or persistent treatment-related toxicities. Relapse rate and probability of event-free survival (pEFS) did not differ significantly between trials. In patients with IF, stable or improved MRD responses after AEP were observed without severe or persistent treatment-related toxicities.

CONCLUSION: In conclusion, AEP is well tolerated as a component of the HR treatment and is useful in bridging-to-transplant settings.

© 2022 The Authors. Pediatric Blood & Cancer published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.

PMID: 36129234

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