Time to Cure for Childhood and Young Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Is Independent of Early Risk Factors: Long-Term Follow-Up of the UKALL2003 Trial.
Moorman AV., Antony G., Wade R., Butler ER., Enshaei A., Harrison CJ., Moppett J., Hough R., Rowntree C., Hancock J., Goulden N., Samarasinghe S., Vora A.
PURPOSE: The aim of the randomized trial, UKALL2003, was to adjust treatment intensity on the basis of minimal residual disease (MRD) stratification for children and young adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. We analyzed the 10-year randomized outcomes and the time for patients to be considered cured (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00222612). METHODS: A total of 3,113 patients were analyzed including 1,054 patients who underwent random assignment (521 MRD low-risk and 533 MRD high-risk patients). Time to cure was defined as the point at which the chance of relapse was < 1%. The median follow-up time was 10.98 (interquartile range, 9.19-13.02) years, and survival rates are quoted at 10 years. RESULTS: In the low-risk group, the event-free survival was 91.7% (95% CI, 87.4 to 94.6) with one course of delayed intensification versus 93.7% (95% CI, 89.9 to 96.1) with two delayed intensifications (adjusted hazard ratio 0.73; 95% CI, 0.38 to 1.40; P = .3). In the high-risk group, the event-free survival was 82.1% (95% CI, 76.9 to 86.2) with standard therapy versus 87.1% (95% CI, 82.4 to 90.6) with augmented therapy (adjusted hazard ratio 0.68; 95% CI, 0.44 to 1.06; P = .09). Cytogenetic high-risk patients treated on augmented therapy had a lower relapse risk (22.1%; 95% CI, 15.1 to 31.6) versus standard therapy (52.4%; 95% CI, 28.9 to 80.1; P = .016). The initial risk of relapse differed significantly by sex, age, MRD, and genetics, but the risk of relapse for all subgroups quickly coalesced at around 6 years after diagnosis. CONCLUSION: Long-term outcomes of the UKALL2003 trial confirm that low-risk patients can safely de-escalate therapy, while intensified therapy benefits patients with high-risk cytogenetics. Regardless of prognosis, the time to cure is similar across risk groups. This will facilitate communication to patients and families who pose the question "When am I/is my child cured?"