Outcome of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia with very late relapse: a retrospective analysis by the Tokyo Children's Cancer Study Group (TCCSG)

Int J Hematol. 2015 Jan;101(1):52-7. doi: 10.1007/s12185-014-1710-z. Epub 2014 Nov 29.


Relapse period is strongly associated with second relapse risk in relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in children. In this context, the treatment outcome of very late relapse should be better; however, data regarding very late relapse is limited. We retrospectively analyzed the outcomes of two consecutive Tokyo Children's Cancer Study Group (TCCSG) ALL trials (1995-2004) with a focus on late relapse, which was divided into two categories: late relapse (6-24 months from the end of therapy, n = 48) and very late relapse (>24 months from the end of therapy, n = 57). Forty-three patients (29 late relapse and 14 very late relapse) received allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) at second remission. The event-free survival (EFS) probabilities of late relapse and very late relapse were 54.5 ± 7.3 and 64.8 ± 6.8 % at 7 years, respectively (P = 0.36), and were not significantly different. However, the second relapse incidence of late relapse (34.7 ± 7.1 %) was higher than that of very late relapse (15.5 ± 5.1 %, P = 0.03). The second relapse risk was low for very late relapse ALL, which suggests that these patients should be treated without allogeneic HSCT.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / drug therapy*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / mortality
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / pathology*
  • Recurrence
  • Remission Induction
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome