Outcome after cessation of therapy in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

Momcilo Jankovic, Donatella Fraschini, Augusto Amici, Maurizio Aricò, Alberto Arrighini, Giuseppe Basso, Roberto Colella, Maria Teresa DiTullio, Riccardo Haupt, Pierantonio Macchia, Saverio Magro, Antonia Mancini, Carla Manganini, Giovanna Meloni, Roberto Miniero, Paolo Rosso, Paola Saracco, Benedetto Terracini, Giuseppe Masera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A total of 2192 children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia who had reached cessation of therapy in complete remission were followed for a median time of 52 months after treatment suspension. Of the 485 relapses observed, 62.3% occurred in the first year off therapy and 68.9% involved the bone marrow. Eight relapses were reported more than 5 years (62-143 months) after treatment withdrawal. Males fared worse than females consistently, experiencing 1.5 times more relapses (P <0.0001). Thirteen patients died in continuous complete remission, 5 because of non-neoplastic central nervous system complications. There were 11 second solid malignancies, 8 of them in the central nervous system; 9 subjects presented an haematopoietic malignancy after ALL. The projected event-free survival at 8 years is 73%. Twenty-two of the 171 young adults (age > 20 years) were married and 16 have had 21 healthy children. Twenty-four per cent of patients experienced an unfavourable event. Relapses accounted for 93% of failures. Central nervous system late effects and second malignancies were the major causes of non-leukaemic morbidity and mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1839-1843
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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