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Med Pediatr Oncol. 1997 Jul;29(1):16-22.

Importance of the day 7 bone marrow biopsy as a prognostic measure of the outcome in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, B.C.'s Children's Hospital, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


The presence of > or = 25% blasts in a marrow aspirate obtained on day 7 of induction followed by a remission at day 28 has been associated with a poor prognosis in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). We evaluated whether a day 7 marrow biopsy may be used to more accurately assess therapeutic reduction of leukemia tumor burden. Studied were 76 children with ALL enrolled on CCG protocols at B.C's Children's Hospital who received both a day 7 aspirate and biopsy and were in remission by day 28. Evaluation for the correlation of the percentage aspirate blasts on day 7 with the biopsy demonstrated a moderate correlation with the percentage biopsy blasts (R = 61), but not correlation with the biopsy cellularity. We saw a similar prediction of outcome by the percentage blasts on day 7 marrow aspirate in the study as reported previously although it was not significant. Outcome analysis was done using leukemia burden as measured by the day 7 absolute blast index-aspirate (ABI-aspirate) calculated as the product of the biopsy cellularity with the percentage blasts on the aspirate. The ABI-aspirate significantly predicted patient outcome with 83% survival in those with an ABI-aspirate of < .06 compared to 51% in those > or = .06 (P = .01) and was highly significant when analyzed as a continuous predictor (P = .004). This is the first study to demonstrate that information gained from the day 7 marrow biopsy can improve prediction of outcome in children with ALL. Based on this preliminary study, we recommend that large population ALL therapy trials evaluate the role of the day 7 marrow biopsy for outcome prediction in children with ALL.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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