Results of NOPHO ALL2008 treatment for patients aged 1-45 years with acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Leukemia. 2018 Mar;32(3):606-615. doi: 10.1038/leu.2017.265. Epub 2017 Aug 18.


Adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) do worse than children. From 7/2008 to 12/2014, Nordic and Baltic centers treated 1509 consecutive patients aged 1-45 years with Philadelphia chromosome-negative ALL according to the NOPHO ALL2008 without cranial irradiation. Overall, 1022 patients were of age 1-9 years (A), 266 were 10-17 years (B) and 221 were 18-45 years (C). Sixteen patients (three adults) died during induction. All others achieved remission after induction or 1-3 intensive blocks. Subsequently, 45 patients (12 adults) died, 122 patients relapsed (32 adults) with a median time to relapse of 1.6 years and 13 (no adult) developed a second malignancy. Median follow-up time was 4.6 years. Among the three age groups, older patients more often had higher risk ALL due to T-ALL (32%/25%/9%, P<0.001), KMT2A rearrangements (6%/5%/3%, P<0.001) and higher day 29 residual leukemia for B-lineage (P<0.001), but not T-ALL (P=0.53). Event-free survival rates (pEFS5y) were 89±1% (A), 80±3% (B) and 74±4% (C) with significant differences only for non-high risk groups. Except for thrombosis, pancreatitis and osteonecrosis, the risk of 19 specified toxicities was not enhanced by age above 10 years. In conclusion, a pediatric-based protocol is tolerable and effective for young adults, despite their increased frequency of higher risk features.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / diagnosis
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / drug therapy*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / genetics
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / mortality
  • Remission Induction
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers, Tumor