Acute lymphoblastic leukemia and Down syndrome: Presenting features and treatment outcome in the experience of the Italian Association of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (AIEOP)

Maurizio Arico, Ottavio Ziino, Maria Grazia Valsecchi, Giovanni Cazzaniga, Carlo Baronci, Chiara Messina, Andrea Pession, Nicola Santoro, Giuseppe Basso, Valentino Conter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND. The presenting features and treatment outcome of 120 patients with Down syndrome (DS) and childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) were compared with 6237 non-DS patients treated in the same years. METHODS. We reviewed the database of 6 consecutive Italian Association of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (AIEOP)-ALL trials conducted between 1982 and 2004. Features of DS patients were compared with those of non-DS patients. RESULTS. The 120 DS patients (1.9%) were more often girls (P = .027), aged ≥10 years (P = .014), and high risk according to National Cancer Institute (NCI) criteria (P = .045). The distribution of white blood cell count did not differ (P = .32). DS patients belonged less frequently to the current high-risk group (P = .017). In all but 1 case they demonstrated B-cell precursor (BCP) immunophenotype (P ≤ .001). TEL/AML1 molecular fusion transcript was found in only 1 of 44 (2.2%) tested patients. Induction death occurred more often in DS patients (4.2%, P = .009), but not failure to achieve remission. Leukemia relapse occurred in 31.6% of DS patients (vs 23.5%; P = .003), usually in the marrow. Remission death was more frequent in DS patients (4.2%, P = .03). Ten-year event-free survival and survival were significantly worse compared with non-DS patients (P <0.001). DS patients diagnosed since 1995 had a better outcome (P = .06) than those diagnosed in previous years, but still had worse outcomes than non-DS patients (P = .04). Event-free survival of DS patients at NCI standard risk was lower than that of non-DS patients (P = .006). CONCLUSIONS. Presenting features of childhood ALL in DS differ from those in non-DS patients. They are almost invariably characterized by BCP phenotype, and are often TEL/AML1 negative. Treatment results, although not as good as for non-DS patients, improved progressively, with modern therapy and support allowing 75% to survive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-521
Number of pages7
JournalCancer
Volume113
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2008

Keywords

  • BFM chemotherapy
  • Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • DNA index
  • Down syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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    Arico, M., Ziino, O., Valsecchi, M. G., Cazzaniga, G., Baronci, C., Messina, C., Pession, A., Santoro, N., Basso, G., & Conter, V. (2008). Acute lymphoblastic leukemia and Down syndrome: Presenting features and treatment outcome in the experience of the Italian Association of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (AIEOP). Cancer, 113(3), 515-521. https://doi.org/10.1002/cncr.23587