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Acute lymphoblastic leukemia

T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in patients 1–45 years treated with the pediatric NOPHO ALL2008 protocol


The NOPHO ALL2008 is a population-based study using an unmodified pediatric protocol in patients 1–45 years of age with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Patients with T-ALL were given a traditional pediatric scheme if fast responding (minimal residual disease (MRD) < 0.1% day 29), or intensive block-based chemotherapy if slow responding (MRD > 0.1% day 29). Both treatment arms included pediatric doses of high-dose methotrexate and asparaginase. If MRD ≥ 5% on day 29 or ≥0.1% after consolidation, patients were assigned to allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The 5-year overall survival of the 278 T-ALL patients was 0.75 (95% CI 0.69–0.81), being 0.82 (0.74–0.88) for patients 1.0–9.9 years, 0.76 (0.66–0.86) for those 10.0–17.9 years, and 0.65 (0.55–0.75) for the older patients. The risk of death in first remission was significantly higher in adults (12%) compared with the 1–9 years group (4%). The MRD responses in the three age groups were similar, and only a nonsignificant increase in relapse risk was found in adults. In conclusion, an unmodified pediatric protocol in patients 1–45 years is effective in all age groups. The traditional pediatric treatment schedule was safe for all patients, but the intensive block therapy led to a high toxic death rate in adults.

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We thank all patients involved and clinicians assisting in ALL treatment and data collection.

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Correspondence to P. Quist-Paulsen.

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Quist-Paulsen, P., Toft, N., Heyman, M. et al. T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in patients 1–45 years treated with the pediatric NOPHO ALL2008 protocol. Leukemia 34, 347–357 (2020).

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