Improved outcome for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia: results of Dana-Farber Consortium Protocol 91-01.


Journal Article

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) Consortium Protocol 91-01 was designed to improve the outcome of children with newly diagnosed ALL while minimizing toxicity. Compared with prior protocols, post-remission therapy was intensified by substituting dexamethasone for prednisone and prolonging the asparaginase intensification from 20 to 30 weeks. Between 1991 and 1995, 377 patients (age, 0-18 years) were enrolled; 137 patients were considered standard risk (SR), and 240 patients were high risk (HR). Following a 5.0-year median follow-up, the estimated 5-year event-free survival (EFS) +/- SE for all patients was 83% +/- 2%, which is superior to prior DFCI ALL Consortium protocols conducted between 1981 and 1991 (P =.03). There was no significant difference in 5-year EFS based upon risk group (87% +/- 3% for SR and 81% +/- 3% for HR, P =.24). Age at diagnosis was a statistically significant prognostic factor (P =.03), with inferior outcomes observed in infants and children 9 years or older. Patients who tolerated 25 or fewer weeks of asparaginase had a significantly worse outcome than those who received at least 26 weeks of asparaginase (P <.01, both univariate and multivariate). Older children (at least 9 years of age) were significantly more likely to have tolerated 25 or fewer weeks of asparaginase (P <.01). Treatment on Protocol 91-01 significantly improved the outcome of children with ALL, perhaps due to the prolonged asparaginase intensification and/or the use of dexamethasone. The inferior outcome of older children may be due, in part, to increased intolerance of intensive therapy.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Silverman, LB; Gelber, RD; Dalton, VK; Asselin, BL; Barr, RD; Clavell, LA; Hurwitz, CA; Moghrabi, A; Samson, Y; Schorin, MA; Arkin, S; Declerck, L; Cohen, HJ; Sallan, SE

Published Date

  • March 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 97 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 1211 - 1218

PubMed ID

  • 11222362

Pubmed Central ID

  • 11222362

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1528-0020

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0006-4971

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1182/blood.v97.5.1211


  • eng