Background: The prognosis of Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph(+) ALL) is generally poor and reports from large studies are scarce. We evaluated the efficacy of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (allo-BMT) for children with this type of leukemia.
Procedure: The chemotherapy regimens consisted of an induction phase and very intensive consolidation followed by a reinduction phase and late intensification treatment. The selection of treatment modalities such as chemotherapy, allo-BMT, or autologous transplantation was made by each institute. The principal endpoint was the outcome of children with Ph(+) ALL according to the treatment options.
Results: Thirty-two patients (4.3%) were diagnosed as Ph(+) ALL out of the 741 cases of ALL consecutively enrolled in two protocols of the Tokyo Children's Cancer Study Group (TCCSG) from 1989 to 1994. Thirty patients (93.8%) were induced into complete remission (CR). Of these 30 patients, eight children electively received allo-BMT in the first CR. Six of these patients are in continuous remission at a median follow-up of 58 (range 48-105) months after the diagnosis. One patient died following recurrence and another patient died of graft vs. host disease. Three patients treated with autologous BMT or peripheral blood stem cell transplantation in the first CR experienced a subsequent relapse. In the remaining 19 patients, 13 patients were treated with very high-risk chemotherapy alone and all relapsed within 28 months. One patient was excluded from the analysis because he was treated with standard-risk chemotherapy until relapse. The other five patients were also excluded from the analysis because Philadelphia chromosome was not detected until they relapsed. None of the relapsed patients survived in spite of treatment including allo-BMT. In multivariate analysis, only allo-BMT remained as an independent factor for good prognosis.
Conclusions: The only way to cure children with Ph(+) ALL was allo-BMT in this study and its outcome seemed promising.
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.