Among 1614 children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) treated with the Nordic Society for Paediatric Haematology and Oncology (NOPHO)ALL-92 protocol, 20 patients developed a second malignant neoplasm (SMN) with a cumulative risk of 1.6% at 12 years from the diagnosis of ALL. Nine of the 16 acute myeloid leukemias or myelodysplastic syndromes had monosomy 7 (n = 7) or 7q deletions (n = 2). In Cox multivariate analysis, longer duration of oral 6-mercaptopurine (6MP)/methotrexate (MTX) maintenance therapy (P = .02; longest for standard-risk patients) and presence of high hyperdiploidy (P = .07) were related to increased risk of SMN. Thiopurine methyl-transferase (TPMT) methylates 6MP and its metabolites, and thus reduces cellular levels of cytotoxic 6-thioguanine nucleotides. Of 524 patients who had erythrocyte TPMT activity measured, the median TPMT activity in 9 patients developing an SMN was significantly lower than in the 515 that did not develop an SMN (median, 12.1 vs 18.1 IU/mL; P = .02). Among 427 TPMT wild-type patients for whom the 6MP dose was registered, those who developed SMN received higher average 6MP doses than the remaining patients (69.7 vs 60.4 mg/m2; P = .03). This study indicates that the duration and intensity of 6MP/MTX maintenance therapy of childhood ALL may influence the risk of SMNs in childhood ALL.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology