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Relapse of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) involving the eye is a rare but challenging problem. Twenty cases occurred in patients treated on the Medical Research Council United Kingdom Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia XI and ALL97 trials between 1991 and 2001, representing 2.2% of ALL relapses. Seventeen occurred as a first relapse, either in isolation or combined with relapse at another site, and three occurred as a second relapse. All patients with intraocular disease at first relapse were treated with both chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but the doses and protocols used varied. Eleven of these 17 patients are alive and in complete remission with a median follow up of 4 years 2 months from relapse. All 11 children that were treated with a full chemotherapy relapse protocol, together with local radiotherapy have survived. Patients treated with chemotherapy of shorter duration and intensity, despite radiotherapy and/or bone marrow transplantation, did poorly with only one survivor, currently in chronic relapse. Consequently, we suggest that children with eye relapse of ALL be treated with an intensive relapse chemotherapy protocol with local ocular radiotherapy, whether the relapse occurs in isolation or in combination with relapse at another site.


Journal article


Br J Haematol

Publication Date





280 - 288


Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols, Bone Marrow Cells, Central Nervous System, Child, Child, Preschool, Combined Modality Therapy, Databases, Factual, Eye, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Infant, Leukemic Infiltration, Male, Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma, Recurrence, Survival Rate, United Kingdom