Childhood T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia: the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute acute lymphoblastic leukemia consortium experience.


Journal Article

PURPOSE: T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) accounts for 10% to 15% of newly diagnosed cases of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Historically, T-ALL patients have had a worse prognosis than other ALL patients. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We reviewed the outcomes of 125 patients with T-ALL treated on Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) ALL Consortium trials between 1981 and 1995. Therapy included four- or five-agent remission induction; consolidation therapy with doxorubicin, vincristine, corticosteroid, mercaptopurine, and weekly high-dose asparaginase; and cranial radiation. T-ALL patients were treated the same as high-risk B-progenitor ALL patients. Fifteen patients with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma were also treated with the same high-risk regimen between 1981 and 2000. RESULTS: The 5-year event-free survival (EFS) rate for T-ALL patients was 75% +/- 4%. Fourteen of 15 patients with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma were long-term survivors. There was no significant difference in EFS comparing patients with T-ALL and B-progenitor ALL (P =.56), although T-ALL patients had significantly higher rates of induction failure (P <.0001), and central nervous system (CNS) relapse (P =.02). The median time to relapse in T-ALL patients was 1.2 years versus 2.5 years in B-progenitor ALL patients (P =.001). There were no pretreatment characteristics associated with worse prognosis in patients with T-ALL. CONCLUSION: T-ALL patients fared as well as B-progenitor patients on DFCI ALL Consortium protocols. Patients with T-ALL remain at increased risk for induction failure, early relapse, and isolated CNS relapse. Future studies should focus on the identification of and treatment for T-ALL patients at high risk for treatment failure.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Goldberg, JM; Silverman, LB; Levy, DE; Dalton, VK; Gelber, RD; Lehmann, L; Cohen, HJ; Sallan, SE; Asselin, BL

Published Date

  • October 1, 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 21 / 19

Start / End Page

  • 3616 - 3622

PubMed ID

  • 14512392

Pubmed Central ID

  • 14512392

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1527-7755

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0732-183X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1200/jco.2003.10.116


  • eng