Quality of health in survivors of childhood acute myeloid leukemia treated with chemotherapy only: a NOPHO-AML study

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2011 Dec 15;57(7):1222-9. doi: 10.1002/pbc.22931. Epub 2010 Dec 22.


Background: More than 60% of children with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) become long-term survivors, and approximately 50% are cured with chemotherapy only. Limited data exist about their long-term morbidity and social outcomes. The aim of the study was to compare the self-reported use of health care services, health experience, social outcomes, and lifestyle behavior of AML survivors with that of their sibling controls.

Methods: This population-based study included 138 children treated for AML according to the Nordic Society of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (NOPHO)-AML-84, -88, and -93 trials, and alive by June 30, 2007. Patients treated with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) or relapse were not included. Altogether, 102 (74%) survivors and 91% of their siblings completed a questionnaire.

Results: The median follow-up was 11 (range 4-25) years after diagnosis. AML survivors had no increased rate of hospitalization compared with sibling controls, but were more often receiving prescription drugs, especially for asthma (23% vs. 9%, P = 0.03). Self-reported health experience was excellent or very good in 77% and comparable with that of siblings. Educational achievement, employment, and marital status were comparable in the two groups. Among surviving AML patients, 23% were current smokers and 24% of their siblings were current smokers.

Conclusions: The self-reported health of children treated on NOPHO-AML protocols without HSCT was good, and their use of health care services was limited. Reported health and social outcomes were comparable to those of their siblings. Many survivors were smoking which may increase the risk of late effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / complications*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Quality of Life
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult