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Chemotherapy. 2003 Jun;49(3):138-45.

Long-term survival in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in adults treated according to the LALA 87 protocol.

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  • 1Institute of Haematology, Clinical Centre of Serbia, Belgrade, Yugoslavia. marcolov@eunet.yu



Between January 1989 and July 1995, a prospective study of the therapeutic efficacy of the LALA 87 protocol in adult acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) has been conducted.


A total of hundred and twelve patients with ALL have been analysed. The median age of the patients was 40 years (range: 15-65), the gender ratio (M/F) was 66/46, and the morphologic FAB (French-American-British) profile was L1 in 30 (26.9%) patients, L2 in 71 (63.3%) and L3 morphology in 11 (9.8%) of the patients. The LALA 87 protocol includes five phases: induction, consolidation, reinforcement, maintenance and central nervous system (CNS) prophylaxis with intrathecal methotrexate and irradiation. The induction phase comprised daunorubicin 50 mg/m(2) (days 1-3), cyclophosphamide 600 mg/m(2) (days 1 and 8), vincristine 1.5 mg/m(2) (on days 1, 8, 15 and 22) and daily oral prednisone on days 1-21. Maintenance therapy was given for 2 years and consisted of different drugs as reinforcement, daily 6-mercaptopurine and weekly methotrexate.


Complete remission (CR) was achieved in 81 (72.3%) of the patients. The causes of induction failure were partial response in 10 (8.9%), and hypoplastic death in 12 patients (10.7%), and 9 were non-responders (8.0%). Of the 81 patients who achieved CR, 62 relapsed (76%). Among the relapsed patients, 9 developed CNS disease in spite of CNS prophylaxis during induction chemotherapy. Median follow-up for the living patients was 110 months. Median disease-free survival (DFS) was 16 months; 19 patients are still in remission with an estimated 10-year DFS (24%). Adverse prognostic factors were >50 years of age, immunologic subtype and cytogenetic profile.


The results support the strategy of applying more effort and other treatment modalities in the therapy of ALL.

Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

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