ASH 2014: Young Adults with ALL Do Better With Pediatric Regimens

This presentation argues for a new approach to treating adolescents and young adults with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL).

Traditionally, outcomes in ALL are better among children than they are among older patients. This is believed to be the case because of the biology of the disease and because of the higher intensity of the protocols.

Previously, the event-free survival for older patients with ALL when using regimens suited for adult patients was just 34 percent.

Lead study author Wendy Stock, MD, professor of medicine and director of the leukemia program at the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center and colleagues conducted a large prospective study of ALL patients aged 16-39.

The trial, known as the C10403 trial, involved 296 patients. Median age at diagnosis, 24.

Their two year event-free survival was 66 percent with the pediatric regimen, and the two-year overall survival was 78 percent.

Both are significant gains, and add to the growing evidence that these pediatric regimens should be the standard of care.

"These outcomes are similar to those in other prospective international studies of pediatric regimens in adolescents and young adults," said Dr Stock at a press briefing. "These data started 14 years ago at the ASH meeting, when we presented data showing that young adults 16 to 20 years of age who were treated in adult NCI Cooperative group studies in the United States fared much worse than patients in the same age group who were treated in pediatric studies."

These findings are scheduled to be presented on 9 December 2014 at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) 56th Annual Meeting. They should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Source: ASH 2014

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