Background: To eliminate cranial irradiation (CrRT)–related sequelae and to minimize the adverse impact of traumatic lumbar puncture (TLP) with blasts, the Taiwan Pediatric Oncology Group (TPOG) introduced a modified central nervous system (CNS)–directed regimen characterized by delayed triple intrathecal therapy (TIT) and the omission of CrRT for all children with newly diagnosed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Methods: This study compared the treatment outcomes of patients overall and patients with a non–CNS-1 status (CNS-2, CNS-3, or TLP with blasts) in 2 treatment eras, one before and another after the revision of the TPOG-ALL-2002 protocol by the introduction of the modification (era 1 [2002-2008] with CrRT and era 2 [2009-2012] with delayed first TIT and no CrRT). Results: There were no statistically significant differences in major outcomes between the 903 patients treated in era 1 and the 444 patients treated in era 2: the 5-year event-free survival (EFS) rates were 75.7% ± 1.4% and 72.1% ± 2.4%, respectively (P =.260), and the cumulative risks of isolated CNS relapse were 4.0% ± 0.7% and 4.1% ± 1.0%, respectively (P =.960). There were also no differences between non–CNS-1 patients treated in era 1 (n = 76) and era 2 (n =28): the 5-year EFS rates were 52.3% ± 5.8% and 62.9% ± 9.4%, respectively (P =.199), and the cumulative risks of isolated CNS relapse were 6.3% ± 3.1% and 3.6% ± 3.5%, respectively (P =.639). Notably, TLP with blasts was completely eliminated after the first TIT was delayed in era 2. Conclusions: The delay of the first TIT until the clearance of circulating blasts and the total omission of CrRT did not compromise survival or CNS control in patients with childhood ALL, including those with a non–CNS-1 status.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research