Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Adults Treated with German Multicenter Study Group Protocols
G. Goldstein, O. Shpilberg, P. Raanani, A. Chetrit, I. Ben-Bassat
Institutes of Hematology and of Clinical Epidemiology, Sheba Medical Center and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a malignant disease whose incidence is relatively low among adults, unlike in children. Adults with ALL have a lower rate of long-term disease-free survival. During the last 20 years, a German multicenter group has shown that their protocol have achieved good results in adult ALL.
We reviewed the medical records of 35 ALL patients, aged 19-63 years, whome we treated with these protocol (1988-1997). The remission rate was 94%. At a median follow-up of 46 months the 2-year overall survival was 54% and the disease-free survival was 94%. Although 2 patients died of bone marrow transplant complications, no death was directly associated with drug toxicity. The main grade 3 or 4 side effects (WHO classification) were neutropenia (91%), thrombocytopenia (71%) and anemia (71%).
With there protocols we achieved high overall and disease-free survival rates, especially in comparison with other reports. Despite the high rate of severe treatment toxicity, there were no fatalities directly related to treatment. These results emphasize the need to concentrate treatment of adult ALL patients in large medical centers with expertise in the use of the complicated treatment protocols required.