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Blood. 2006 Jul 15;108(2):441-51. Epub 2006 Mar 23.

Analysis of prognostic factors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in infants: report on CCG 1953 from the Children's Oncology Group.

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The Children's Hospital at The Cleveland Clinic, OH 44195, USA.


Infant acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has a poor therapeutic outcome despite attempts to treat it based on prognostic factor-guided therapy. This is the first cooperative group trial characterizing all infants at the molecular level for MLL/11q23 rearrangement. All infants enrolled on Children's Cancer Group (CCG) 1953 were tested for MLL rearrangement by Southern blot and the 11q23 translocation partner was identified (4;11, 9;11, 11;19, or "other") by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (PCR). One hundred fifteen infants were enrolled; overall event-free survival (EFS) was 41.7% (SD = 9.2%) and overall survival (OS) was 44.8% at 5 years. Five-year EFS for MLL-rearranged cases was 33.6% and for MLL-nonrearranged cases was 60.3%. The difference in EFS between the 3 major MLL rearrangements did not reach statistical significance. Multivariate Cox regression analyses showed a rank order of significance for negative impact on prognosis of CD10 negativity, age younger than 6 months, and MLL rearrangement, in that order. Toxicity was the most frequent cause of death. Relapse as a first event in CCG 1953 was later (median, 295 days) compared with CCG 1883 historic control (median, 207 days). MLL/11q23 rearrangement, CD10 expression, and age are important prognostic factors in infant ALL, but molecular 11q23 translocation partners do not predict outcome.

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