Background: Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is a unique leukemia subtype requiring specialized treatment including all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA). A prior report demonstrated worse outcome among young children <5 years old compared with older children. Methods: We evaluated outcomes for pediatric patients (<18 years old; N = 83) with APL treated on North American intergroup study CALGB 9710 at Children's Oncology Group sites. Induction and consolidation included ATRA, cytarabine, and anthracyclines. Patients ≥15 years old were randomized to addition of arsenic trioxide (ATO) consolidation. All patients were randomized to ATRA maintenance with versus without oral chemotherapy. Results: The estimated 5-year overall survival (OS) rate was 82%, and the event-free survival (EFS) rate was 54%. Seven patients (8.4%) died during induction due to coagulopathy. Maintenance randomization demonstrated that addition of oral chemotherapy to ATRA significantly reduced relapse rate, but difference in EFS did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.12; 5-year rates [95% CI]: 41% [17%–64%] ATRA only vs 72% [56%–88%] ATRA plus chemotherapy). There was no difference (P = 0.93) in EFS for age <5 years versus 5–12.99 years versus 13–17.99 years (5-year rates: 56%, 47%, and 45%, respectively). Among adolescents 15–17.99 years old in the ATO randomization, there was a significantly lower relapse risk at 5 years for those receiving ATO (0% ATO vs 44% no ATO; P = 0.02). Conclusion: Our data demonstrate that intensified ATRA, cytarabine, and anthracycline chemotherapy is effective for pediatric APL including very young patients, but early deaths and relapses remain barriers to cure. Further improvements are likely with incorporation of ATO into pediatric APL regimens.
- arsenic trioxide
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health