Japan Association of Childhood Leukemia Study Group (JACLS)
ETV6-RUNX1-positive B precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) is a common subtype of pediatric B-ALL that has shown excellent outcomes in contemporary clinical trials for pediatric B-ALL. Examinations of the possibility of reducing therapeutic intensity may thus be explored. This prospective study examined outcomes in 205 pediatric patients with ETV6-RUNX1-positive B-ALL uniformly treated following the Japan Association of Childhood Leukemia Study Group (JACLS) ALL-02 protocol. The JACLS ALL-02 protocol does not employ minimal residual disease detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR-MRD)-based risk stratification; however, 4-year event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) were 94.4 ± 1.6 and 97.5 ± 1.1%, respectively. In particular, 92 of 205 (44.9%) patients were successfully treated with a less intensive regimen involving only two cycles of high dose methotrexate and one course of re-induction therapy comprising vincristine, l-asparaginase (L-asp), pirarubicin, and prednisolone. Multivariate analysis revealed that discontinuation of L-asp and poor response to prednisolone was, respectively, associated with poor EFS (HR 6.3; 95% CI 1.3–27.0) and OS (HR 17.5; 95% CI 2.3–130), suggesting that the majority of ETV6-RUNX1-positive B-ALL cases may be cured by a less-intensive chemotherapy regimen if the risk stratification system including PCR-MRD monitoring and insufficient use of L-asp is avoided.
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The authors thank all patients (and their guardians) who participated in this study. The authors also thank the staff at the OSCR data center for data management and all physicians who registered the patients in the JACLS ALL-02 clinical trial.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
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