Treating childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL): Summary of ten years' experience in Italy

G. Paolucci, G. Masera, V. Vecchi, S. Marsoni, A. Pession, M. G. Zurlo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Between 1976 and 1986, 2,093 children with ALL were enrolled in three consecutive generations of trials conducted by the Associazione Italiana Ematologia Oncologia Pediatrica (AIEOP). A 50% event-free survival at 5 years was achieved overall in this population, approximately accounting for more than 50% of the entire childhood ALL population in Italy. Participation in the group protocols increased from the original seven founding centers to the current 37 institutions. Results in the standard population (non-T immunophenotype, non-FAB L3, and <50,000 white blood cells [WBC]/ml) were considerably better with more recent, more aggressive protocols. The two major results in this population (N = 540) were a relatively low incidence (8% at 5 years) of central nervous system (CNS) relapse in the 'good'-risk population (<10,000 WBC, aged 3-6 years, and FAB L1), without the use of cranial irradiation, and a projected 4-year disease-free interval for bone-marrow relapse of 80% in the 'average'-risk group, where a three-drug reinduction program was adopted after consolidation. Overall, the event-free survival of the most recent generation (protocol 82, median follow-up time of 38 months) is 66% at 4 years (95% confidence limits [CL] 61-71). Based on these 10 years of experience, the general strategy of the group for the 90s is outlined and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-91
Number of pages9
JournalMedical and Pediatric Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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