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Sci Rep. 2016 Dec 21;6:39463. doi: 10.1038/srep39463.

Use of PEG-asparaginase in newly diagnosed adults with standard-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia compared with E. coli-asparaginase: a retrospective single-center study.

Liu WJ1,2, Wang H1,2, Wang WD1,2, Zhu MY1,2, Liu CC1,2, Wang JH1,2, Lu Y1,2.

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State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510060, People's Republic of China.
Department of Hematologic Oncology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510060, People's Republic of China.


Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a heterogeneous disease, and the long-term survival varies with different ages. We performed a retrospective analysis of 122 newly diagnosed adults with standard-risk ALL treated with Escherichia coli asparaginase (E. coli-asparaginase, n = 50) and polyethylene glycol-conjugated asparaginase (PEG-asparaginase, n = 72). No treatment-related mortality (TRM) occurred in the E. coli-asparaginase group, and 3 TRM events occurred in the PEG-asparaginase group without relation to asparaginase. In addition, 22 (44.0%) and 48 (66.7%) patients achieved a complete response (CR) on day 14 in the E. coli-asparaginase and PEG-asparaginase groups, respectively (P = 0.032). No different 5-year event-free survival (EFS) or overall survival (OS) rate (P = 0.632 and 0.769) was observed. Multivariate analysis revealed later CR (P = 0.008) and older age (P = 0.049) as adverse prognostic factors for both EFS and OS. In addition, we specifically monitored the known adverse effects of asparaginase, and no asparaginase-related death was observed. Allergy occurred in 9 patients using E. coli-asparaginase, and no patient in the PEG-asparaginase group suffered from allergies (P < 0.001). The incidence of other asparaginase-related toxicities was similar. We conclude that PEG-asparaginase can be safely and effectively used as asparaginase in adults with newly diagnosed standard-risk ALL.

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