Treatment of adult acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) over a 16 year period.
Bassan R., Battista R., Rohatiner AZ., Love S., Carter M., Buelli M., Viero P., D'Emilio A., MacCallum P., Amess J.
Between 1972 and 1988 269 newly diagnosed adolescents and adults (age range 14-78 years) with ALL were managed with three protocols of increasing intensity (OPAL, HEAV'D, OPAL-HDAraC). The complete remission (CR) rate in 212 patients treated with OPAL and HEAV'D was 151/212 (71%), the median CR duration was 1.9 years. With a median follow-up of 9 years, 49 patients remain free of disease. On multivariate analysis age, blast cell count, and immunophenotype were found to correlate significantly with CR rate, remission duration and survival. CR was achieved in 38/57 (67%) patients subsequently treated with OPAL-HDAraC; however, although remission duration was longer in 'high risk' patients (T, B and Null phenotype irrespective of blast cout, cALLA+ve with blast count greater than 10 x 10(9)/l) as compared to the results achieved in similar patients with OPAL/HEAV'D, overall, the results were no better than those achieved previously. Indeed, patients in the 'standard risk' category (cALLA+ve, blast count less than 10 x 10(9)/l) fared better previously. Subsequently, neither treatment according to prognostic variables, or the addition of different pairs of drugs in rotation, to HEAV'D, have improved outcome in 63 other patients. Currently, further intensification of the early treatment is being evaluated.