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Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2009 Aug;53(2):168-73. doi: 10.1002/pbc.21897.

Survival outcome in childhood ALL: experience from a tertiary care centre in North India.

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Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Advanced Pediatric Center, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India.



Survival of children with ALL, in developing nations has not kept pace with cure rates in developed countries. Our study was designed to assess survival data and identify risk factors.


Data of 762 patients with ALL were analyzed. Information regarding the clinical-demographic profile, therapy and course of illness were recorded. Status and duration at last follow-up were utilized to generate Kaplan-Meier survival curves.


The mean age was 5.7 +/- 0.23 years (M/F, 3.2:1). Parents of 230 (30.2%) patients opted for no therapy. There were 68 and 60 deaths in induction and remission phases respectively. Besides these, 111 children either defaulted therapy or were lost to follow up. Relapsed disease was documented in 125 cases. The 5-year OS and EFS was 46% and 43% respectively. Survival analysis, using the Cox multivariate regression, for gender (P = 0.659, CI: 0.852-1.161), age (P = 0.943, CI: 0.725-1.225), symptom-diagnosis interval (P = 0.002, CI: 1.116-1.668), WCC (P < 0.001, CI: 1.353-1.814) and platelet count (P = 0.001, CI: 0.546-0.849) was performed. Bulk disease (P = 0.049, CI: 0.428-0.986), mediastinal adenopathy (P = 0.045, CI: 1.040-3.697), WCC (P = 0.016, CI: 1.395-2.691), platelet count (P = 0.031, CI: 0.431-0.967) and administration of 2 intensification blocks (P = 0.012, CI: 0.624-0.940) were found to be significant predictors of outcome by multivariate analysis.


The management of ALL requires financial resources and access to quality supportive care. One third of our patients opted for no therapy. The other problem areas were a high proportion of therapy defaulters, lost to follow up and infection related deaths during induction and remission phases. The introduction of remedial measures for resolving the difficulties identified would hopefully improve cure rates in ALL in developing nations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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