In children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) with isolated central nervous system (CNS) relapse and a human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-matched sibling, the optimal treatment after attaining second remission is unknown. We compared outcomes in 149 patients enrolled on chemotherapy trials and 60 HLA-matched sibling transplants, treated in 1990-2000. All patients achieved a second complete remission. Groups were similar, except the chemotherapy recipients were younger at diagnosis, less likely to have T-cell ALL and had longer duration (≥18 months) first remission. To adjust for time-to-transplant bias, left-truncated Cox's regression models were constructed. Relapse rates were similar after chemotherapy and transplantation. In both treatment groups, relapse rates were higher in older children (11-17 years; RR 2.81, P=0.002) and shorter first remission (<18 months; RR 3.89, P<0.001). Treatment-related mortality rates were higher after transplantation (RR 4.28, P=0.001). The 8-year probabilities of leukemia-free survival adjusted for age and duration of first remission were similar after chemotherapy with irradiation and transplantation (66 and 58%, respectively). In the absence of an advantage for one treatment option over another, the data support use of either intensive chemotherapy with irradiation or HLA-matched sibling transplantation with total body irradiation containing conditioning regimen for children with ALL in second remission after an isolated CNS relapse.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research