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Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2011 May;28(4):269-78. doi: 10.3109/08880018.2010.533249. Epub 2011 Feb 23.

Improved survival outcome of childhood acute myeloid leukemia with intensified chemotherapy in Chinese children.

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Department of Pediatrics, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong, China.


With the use of intensive chemotherapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), the prognosis of childhood acute myeloid leukemia (AML) improved over the last 2 decades. Survival data of Chinese pediatric patients were seldom reported. The authors adopted modified UK Medical Research Council (MRC) AML protocols for treatment of childhood AML since 1994. From 1994 to 2008, the outcomes of Chinese AML patients were studied. Sixty-eight patients were studied. The median age at diagnosis was 9.9 years. Twenty-five patients (36.8%) had favorable cytogenetic karyotypes, including t(15;17), t(8;21) and inv(16). Complete remission (CR) rate was 91.2%. The relapse rate was 29.4%. For non-M3 patients, the 5-year overall survival (pOS) was 64% ± 7% and event-free survival (pEFS) was 53% ± 7%. For those non-good-risk patients who achieved CR, there were no significant differences in outcomes between patients who received HSCT in CR1 and those received chemotherapy alone (5-year pOS 80% ± 13% and 69% ± 9%, P = .52), 5-year pEFS 69% ± 15% and 55% ± 10%, P = .40). The pOS of the 20 relapsed patients was 29% ± 11%. Sixteen patients with t(8;21) and inv(16) had similar outcome with those without favorable cytogenetics (pOS 66% ± 12% versus 65% ± 7%, P = .39; pEFS 60% ± 11% versus 54% ± 8%, P = .45). Patients who achieved CR after 2 or more courses of chemotherapy and presenting white blood cell count (WBC) ≥ 100 × 10(9)/L had poorer outcome (pOS 40% versus 80%P < .01; 43% versus 70%, P = .02, respectively). Intensified chemotherapy improved outcome of Chinese AML children. CR after first course of chemotherapy and WBC at diagnosis were important prognostic factors.

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