Publications by authors named "Birgitte Lausen"

56 Publications

Clinical Implications of Minimal Residual Disease Detection in Infants With -Rearranged Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Treated on the Interfant-06 Protocol.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Feb 6;39(6):652-662. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Purpose: Infant acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is characterized by a high incidence of gene rearrangements and poor outcome. We evaluated the value of minimal residual disease (MRD) in infants with -rearranged ALL treated within the Interfant-06 protocol, which compared lymphoid-style consolidation (protocol IB) versus myeloid-style consolidation (araC, daunorubicin, etoposide/mitoxantrone, araC, etoposide).

Materials And Methods: MRD was measured in 249 infants by DNA-based polymerase chain reaction of rearranged , immunoglobulin, and/or T-cell receptor genes, at the end of induction (EOI) and end of consolidation (EOC). MRD results were classified as negative, intermediate (< 5 × 10), and high (≥ 5 × 10).

Results: EOI MRD levels predicted outcome with 6-year disease-free survival (DFS) of 60.2% (95% CI, 43.2 to 73.6), 45.0% (95% CI, 28.3 to 53.1), and 33.8% (95% CI, 23.8 to 44.1) for infants with negative, intermediate, and high EOI MRD levels, respectively ( = .0039). EOC MRD levels were also predictive of outcome, with 6-year DFS of 68.2% (95% CI, 55.2 to 78.1), 40.1% (95% CI, 28.1 to 51.9), and 11.9% (95% CI, 2.6 to 29.1) for infants with negative, intermediate, and high EOC MRD levels, respectively ( < .0001). Analysis of EOI MRD according to the type of consolidation treatment showed that infants treated with lymphoid-style consolidation had 6-year DFS of 78.2% (95% CI, 51.4 to 91.3), 47.2% (95% CI, 33.0 to 60.1), and 23.2% (95% CI, 12.1 to 36.4) for negative, intermediate, and high MRD levels, respectively ( < .0001), while for myeloid-style-treated patients the corresponding figures were 45.0% (95% CI, 23.9 to 64.1), 41.3% (95% CI, 23.2 to 58.5), and 45.9% (95% CI, 29.4 to 60.9).

Conclusion: This study provides support for the idea that induction therapy selects patients for subsequent therapy; infants with high EOI MRD may benefit from AML-like consolidation (DFS 45.9% 23.2%), whereas patients with low EOI MRD may benefit from ALL-like consolidation (DFS 78.2% 45.0%). Patients with positive EOC MRD had dismal outcomes. These findings will be used for treatment interventions in the next Interfant protocol.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.02333DOI Listing
February 2021

Interprofessional versus monoprofessional case-based learning in childhood cancer and the effect on healthcare professionals' knowledge and attitudes: study protocol for a randomised trial.

BMC Health Serv Res 2020 Dec 4;20(1):1124. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

Juliane Marie Centre, Rigshospitalet and Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Background: Interprofessional education in childhood cancer is a multifaceted field involving multiple healthcare professionals with general and specialised knowledge and skills. Complex treatment, care and rehabilitation require continuous professional development and maintenance of healthcare professionals' competencies in their field of expertise. However, limited knowledge exists in comparing interprofessional and monoprofessional education. Only a few randomised studies have evaluated the effectiveness and efficiency of interprofessional education. The objective of this single-centre, investigator-initiated cluster randomised trial is to study the effect of interprofessional versus monoprofessional case-based learning on healthcare professionals' knowledge of gastrointestinal side effects and attitudes towards team collaboration.

Methods: This study will randomise healthcare professionals to participate in either the experimental interprofessional group or the control monoprofessional group of case-based learning. The topic of the case-based intervention will be gastrointestinal side effects, one of six categories identified in a three-round Scandinavian Delphi study as relevant for interprofessional education in childhood cancer. The primary outcome is the self-reported questionnaire Assessment of Interprofessional Team Collaboration Scale. Secondary outcomes are measured by the self-reported questionnaires Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale Questionnaire, Safety Attitudes Questionnaire, and knowledge will be evaluated using a multiple-choice quiz. Participants will receive the self-reported questionnaires about 2 weeks before and 1 month after the intervention. On the day of the intervention, participants will answer a multiple-choice quiz before and after the case-based learning. Linear mixed models will be used to compare differences between the two groups in mean scores postintervention, adjusting for preintervention scores.

Discussion: This study will provide insight into the differences between interprofessional and monoprofessional case-based learning and how it affects healthcare professionals' knowledge of gastrointestinal side effects and attitudes towards team collaboration.

Trial Registration: The intervention was registered at Clinical Trials.gov : NCT04204109 on December 102,019 and with the National Committee on Health Research Ethics: H-19087506 December 112,019 and the Danish Data Protection Agency: P-2019-637 October 152,019.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12913-020-05980-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7718682PMC
December 2020

Features and outcome of chronic myeloid leukemia at very young age: Data from the International Pediatric Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Registry.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2021 01 8;68(1):e28706. Epub 2020 Oct 8.

Medical Faculty, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Technical University of Dresden, Dresden, Germany.

Introduction: Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is rare in the first two decades of life comprising only 3% of newly diagnosed pediatric and adolescent leukemias. We studied the epidemiologic and clinical features of patients with CML diagnosed at younger than 3 years of age and evaluated treatment and long-term outcome.

Method: Data from the International Pediatric I-BFM/CML Registry were retrospectively analyzed using the European LeukemiaNet criteria of the year 2006. Characteristics and treatment outcome of patients <3 years old at diagnosis were evaluated from standardized forms.

Results: Twenty-two patients (n = 22/479; 4.6%, male/female:14/8) were enrolled with a median age of 22 months (range, 10-34 m). Major symptoms comprised asthenia (30%), fever (30%), abdominal pain (20%), extramedullary signs (14%), hemorrhage (5%), and weight loss (5%). The extramedullary signs were specified in eight children: blueberry muffin (n = 1), sudden swollen abdomen (n = 1), sustained vomiting (n = 1), and cervical and inguinal lymph nodes (n = 5). Two of five children with cervical and inguinal lymph nodes were categorized as accelerated phase. Overall, 19 of 22 (86%) children were diagnosed in chronic phase, while the remaining three patients were in advanced phase. Median follow-up was 78 months (range, 7-196 m). Twenty-one out of 22 patients initially received imatinib, while one child received IFN + ARA-C. Imatinib was changed to second-line tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in 29% of cases. During follow-up, 41% patients underwent stem cell transplantation (SCT). While on TKI, major molecular response (MMR) was achieved in 48% of children. Among the remaining patients, 21% are alive on TKI without MMR and 22% achieved complete molecular response following SCT. Twenty-one of 22 (95%) children are alive, while one patient died of posttransplant complications.

Conclusion: This report demonstrates for the first time the efficacy and long-term effects of upfront imatinib in the so far largest cohort of children with CML diagnosed at very young age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.28706DOI Listing
January 2021

Lymphoblastic predominance of blastic phase in children with chronic myeloid leukaemia treated with imatinib: A report from the I-CML-Ped Study.

Eur J Cancer 2020 09 13;137:224-234. Epub 2020 Aug 13.

Inserm CIC 1402, University Hospital, Poitiers, France.

Background: Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) is a rare disease in children. The frequency and outcome of children evolving to accelerated phase (AP) or blastic phase (BP) under treatment with imatinib is unknown. The aim of the current study is to assess the incidence of progression from CML in chronic phase with imatinib frontline in a paediatric setting and describe the management and outcome of these patients.

Patients And Methods: In the I-CML-Ped Study database (www.clinicaltrials.gov, #NCT01281735), 19 of 339 paediatric patients in chronic phase treated with imatinib in the frontline evolved to CML-AP or CML-BP.

Results: With a median follow-up of 38 months (range: 2-190 months), the cumulative incidence of progression at 1 and 3 years was 3% (confidence interval [CI] 95%: 1-5%) and 7% (CI 95%: 4-11%), respectively. We observed a large predominance of lymphoid-BP (70%) over myeloid-BP (30%) with imatinib in frontline therapy. Sixteen patients underwent haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and eight were treated with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor after transplant. Only the transplanted patients are alive. The 5-year overall survival rate of children with CML-AP/BP is 44%, with no statistical difference between the lymphoid-BP and myeloid-BP outcome.

Conclusion: Children evolving to AP or BP under treatment with imatinib have a very poor prognosis with an overall survival under 50%, much worse than children with advanced phase at diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.06.024DOI Listing
September 2020

Establishment of consensus on content and learning objectives for an interprofessional education in childhood cancer: a Delphi survey.

BMJ Paediatr Open 2020 1;4(1):e000634. Epub 2020 Apr 1.

Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Kobenhavn, Denmark.

Background: Complex treatment, care and rehabilitation require continuous healthcare professional development and maintenance of competencies in collaboration with other professionals. Interprofessional education in childhood cancer involves several groups of healthcare professionals with both general and specific knowledge and skills.

Objective: To establish consensus on content and interprofessional learning objectives for an interprofessional education in childhood cancer.

Design: A three-round Delphi survey in Scandinavian childhood cancer departments.

Participants: Healthcare professionals appointed by their head of departments and head nurses based on their profession and their involvement in continuing professional development.

Main Outcome Measures: A prioritised list of interprofessional learning objectives with a mean score of ≥3 on a five-point scale (1=not relevant, 5=extremely relevant).

Results: 12 childhood cancer departments participated with 30 healthcare professionals: 11 nurses, 10 medical doctors, 5 social workers, 2 physiotherapists and 2 pedagogues. In total, 28 (93%), 25 (83%) and 22 (73%) completed the first, second and third round, respectively. In the first round, we asked open-ended questions and used directed content analysis to analyse 386 statements. We formulated 170 interprofessional learning objectives in six categories: (1) acute life-threatening situations, (2) gastrointestinal toxicities and side effects, (3) pain, (4) palliation, (5) play and activity, and (6) prescription and administration of medicine. The second round resulted in 168 interprofessional learning objectives receiving a mean score of ≥3 on a five-point scale. Final agreement in the third round resulted in a prioritised list of 168 learning objectives.

Conclusions: Consensus on content and interprofessional learning objectives for an interprofessional education in childhood cancer was established across five groups of healthcare professionals in three countries. Some learning objectives are generic and can be applied in settings other than childhood cancer, where healthcare professionals collaborate to provide patients and families optimal treatment and care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjpo-2019-000634DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7173955PMC
April 2020

Measurable residual disease assessment by qPCR in peripheral blood is an informative tool for disease surveillance in childhood acute myeloid leukaemia.

Br J Haematol 2020 07 16;190(2):198-208. Epub 2020 Mar 16.

Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.

Serial assessments of measurable (or minimal) residual disease (MRD) by qPCR may identify nascent relapse in children with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and enable pre-emptive therapy. We investigated the kinetics and prognostic impact of recurrent fusion transcripts (RUNX1-RUNX1T1, CBFB-MYH11, KMT2A-MLLT3 or KMT2A-ELL) in 774 post-induction samples from bone marrow (BM, 347) and peripheral blood (PB, 427) from 75 children with AML. BM MRD persistence during consolidation did not increase the risk of relapse, and MRD at therapy completion did not correlate to outcome (HR = 0·64/MRD log reduction (CI: 0·32-1·26), P = 0·19). In contrast, 8/8 patients with detectable MRD in PB after first consolidation relapsed. Persistence (n = 4) and shifting from negative to positive (n = 10) in PB during follow-up predicted relapse in 14/14 patients. All 253 PB samples collected during follow-up from 36 patients in continuous complete remission were MRD negative. In core-binding factor AML, persistent low-level MRD positivity in BM during follow-up was frequent but an increment to above 5 × 10 heralded subsequent haematological relapse in 12/12 patients. We demonstrate that MRD monitoring in PB after induction therapy is highly informative and propose an MRD increment above 5 × 10 in PB and BM as a definition of molecular relapse since it always leads to haematological relapse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.16560DOI Listing
July 2020

Associations between pretherapeutic body mass index, outcome, and cytogenetic abnormalities in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia.

Cancer Med 2019 11 18;8(15):6634-6643. Epub 2019 Sep 18.

Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus N, Denmark.

Background: Associations between body mass index (BMI), outcome, and leukemia-related factors in children with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remain unclear. We investigated associations between pretherapeutic BMI, cytogenetic abnormalities, and outcome in a large multinational cohort of children with AML.

Methods: We included patients, age 2-17 years, diagnosed with de novo AML from the five Nordic countries (2004-2016), Hong Kong (2007-2016), the Netherlands and Belgium (2010-2016), and Canada and USA (1995-2012). BMI standard deviations score for age and sex was calculated and categorized according to the World Health Organization. Cumulative incidence functions, Kaplan-Meier estimator, Cox regression, and logistic regression were used to investigate associations.

Results: In total, 867 patients were included. The median age was 10 years (range 2-17 years). At diagnosis, 32 (4%) were underweight, 632 (73%) were healthy weight, 127 (15%) were overweight, and 76 (9%) were obese. There was no difference in relapse risk, treatment-related mortality or overall mortality across BMI groups. The frequency of t(8;21) and inv(16) increased with increasing BMI. For obese patients, the sex, age, and country adjusted odds ratio of having t(8;21) or inv(16) were 1.9 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1-3.4) and 2.8 (95% CI 1.3-5.8), respectively, compared to healthy weight patients.

Conclusions: This study did not confirm previous reports of associations between overweight and increased treatment-related or overall mortality in children. Obesity was associated with a higher frequency of t(8;21) and inv(16). AML cytogenetics appear to differ by BMI status.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.2554DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6825997PMC
November 2019

Outcome of Infants Younger Than 1 Year With Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Treated With the Interfant-06 Protocol: Results From an International Phase III Randomized Study.

J Clin Oncol 2019 09 8;37(25):2246-2256. Epub 2019 Jul 8.

University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza, Italy.

Purpose: Infant acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is characterized by () gene rearrangements and coexpression of myeloid markers. The Interfant-06 study, comprising 18 national and international study groups, tested whether myeloid-style consolidation chemotherapy is superior to lymphoid style, the role of stem-cell transplantation (SCT), and which factors had independent prognostic value.

Materials And Methods: Three risk groups were defined: low risk (LR): germline; high risk (HR): -rearranged and older than 6 months with WBC count 300 × 10/L or more or a poor prednisone response; and medium risk (MR): all other -rearranged cases. Patients in the MR and HR groups were randomly assigned to receive the lymphoid course low-dose cytosine arabinoside [araC], 6-mercaptopurine, cyclophosphamide (IB) or experimental myeloid courses, namely araC, daunorubicin, etoposide (ADE) and mitoxantrone, araC, etoposide (MAE).

Results: A total of 651 infants were included, with 6-year event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival of 46.1% (SE, 2.1) and 58.2% (SE, 2.0). In West European/North American groups, 6-year EFS and overall survival were 49.4% (SE, 2.5) and 62.1% (SE, 2.4), which were 10% to 12% higher than in other countries. The 6-year probability of disease-free survival was comparable for the randomized arms (ADE+MAE 39.3% [SE 4.0; n = 169] IB 36.8% [SE, 3.9; n = 161]; log-rank = .47). The 6-year EFS rate of patients in the HR group was 20.9% (SE, 3.4) with the intention to undergo SCT; only 46% of them received SCT, because many had early events. rearrangement was the strongest prognostic factor for EFS, followed by age, WBC count, and prednisone response.

Conclusion: Early intensification with postinduction myeloid-type chemotherapy courses did not significantly improve outcome for infant ALL compared with the lymphoid-type course IB. Outcome for infant ALL in Interfant-06 did not improve compared with that in Interfant-99.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.00261DOI Listing
September 2019

Unmet need for interprofessional education in paediatric cancer: a scoping review.

Support Care Cancer 2019 Oct 24;27(10):3627-3637. Epub 2019 May 24.

Juliane Marie Centre for Children, Women and Reproduction, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Purpose: Despite improved treatment and care, children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer continue to die, while many of those cured are burdened by treatment-related sequelae. The best clinical management of children and adolescents with cancer depends on healthcare professionals with various skills and expertise. Complex treatment, care and rehabilitation require collaboration between healthcare professionals. The purpose of this scoping review is to identify and evaluate existing interprofessional education in paediatric cancer.

Methods: We utilised the scoping review methodology and searched PubMed, Scopus and Education Resources Information Center. Inclusion criteria were postgraduate studies targeting more than one profession and evaluation of the educational intervention. We applied Kirkpatrick's modified interprofessional education outcomes model to systematise outcomes.

Results: Of 418 references, nine studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The design, strategy and content of all the studies were heterogeneous. None of the interprofessional educations systematically evaluated knowledge, skills, attitudes or the effects on patient outcomes or quality of care.

Conclusion: There is a lack of well-structured, interprofessional education in paediatric cancer that has undergone evaluation. Paediatric cancer may benefit from systematic education and evaluation frameworks since interprofessional education could potentially strengthen the treatment, care and rehabilitation for children and adolescents with cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00520-019-04856-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6726701PMC
October 2019

Measurable residual disease monitoring using Wilms tumor gene 1 expression in childhood acute myeloid leukemia based on child-specific reference values.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2019 06 21;66(6):e27671. Epub 2019 Mar 21.

Department of Hematology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.

Background: Measurable/minimal residual disease (MRD) monitoring can predict imminent hematological relapse in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The majority of childhood AML patients do not harbor fusion genes or mutations applicable as MRD markers and overexpression of Wilms tumor gene 1 (WT1) may constitute a useful monitoring target. However, age-specific reference values in healthy hematopoiesis and standardization of WT1 assessment are prerequisites for clinical utility.

Procedure: We investigated WT1 expression across age in hematologically healthy controls (n = 109), during suspected infection (n = 90) and bone marrow (BM) regeneration (n = 13). WT1 expression in AML at diagnosis (n = 91) and during follow-up (n = 30) was compared with age-specific reference values.

Results: WT1 expression correlated with age and showed higher levels in both BM and peripheral blood (PB) in children compared with adults (P < 0.001 and P = 0.01). WT1 expression from healthy hematopoiesis was lower in PB compared with BM (WT1 /WT1 = 8.6, 95% CI: 5.3-13.7) and not influenced by infection nor BM regeneration. At AML diagnosis, 66% had more than 20-fold WT1 overexpression in PB or BM (PB 74%; BM 45%). WT1 was quantified in 279 PB samples during follow-up. All 11 patients with PB sampling within 4 months of disease recurrence displayed WT1 overexpression by a median of 1.9 months (range, 0.7-9.7) before hematological relapse.

Conclusions: This study defines child-specific reference values for WT1 expression in healthy hematopoiesis and demonstrates that WT1 expression in PB is a useful post-treatment monitoring tool in childhood AML. Based on these observations, we propose definitions for childhood AML molecular relapse using WT1 overexpression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.27671DOI Listing
June 2019

Use of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor and risk of relapse in pediatric patients treated for acute myeloid leukemia according to NOPHO-AML 2004 and DB AML-01.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2019 06 7;66(6):e27701. Epub 2019 Mar 7.

Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.

Background: Supportive-care use of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remains controversial due to a theoretical increased risk of relapse and limited impact on neutropenic complications. We describe the use of G-CSF in patients treated according to NOPHO-AML 2004 and DB AML-01 and investigated associations with relapse.

Procedure: Patients diagnosed with de novo AML completing the first week of therapy and not treated with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in the first complete remission were included (n = 367). Information on G-CSF treatment after each course (yes/no) was registered prospectively in the study database and detailed information was gathered retrospectively from each center. Descriptive statistics were used to describe G-CSF use and Cox regression to assess the association between G-CSF and risk of relapse.

Results: G-CSF as supportive care was given to 128 (35%) patients after 268 (39%) courses, with a large variation between centers (0-93%). The use decreased with time-the country-adjusted odds ratio was 0.8/diagnostic year (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.7-0.9). The median daily dose was 5 μg/kg (range 3-12 μg/kg) and the median cumulative dose was 75 μg/kg (range 7-1460 μg/kg). Filgrastim was used in 82% of G-CSF administrations and infection was the indication in 44% of G-CSF administrations. G-CSF was associated with increased risk of relapse-the adjusted hazard ratio was 1.5 (95% CI 1.1-2.2).

Conclusions: G-CSF as supportive care was used in a third of patients, and use decreased with time. Our results indicate that the use of G-CSF may be associated with an increased risk of relapse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.27701DOI Listing
June 2019

Discontinuation of imatinib in children with chronic myeloid leukaemia in sustained deep molecular remission: results of the STOP IMAPED study.

Br J Haematol 2019 05 6;185(4):718-724. Epub 2019 Mar 6.

Departments of Paediatric Oncology/Haematology, Beatrix Children's Hospital, University Medical Centre Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.

This international study aimed to assess the effect of imatinib discontinuation in paediatric patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) after deep molecular remission (DMR) had been achieved and maintained for at least 2 years. The primary endpoint of this analysis was the molecular relapse-free survival, estimated by the non-parametric Kaplan-Meier method. Major endpoint was the estimated rate of patients without molecular relapse at 6 months. Fourteen patients were enrolled; 4 patients maintained DMR with a follow-up of 24 (two patients), 34 and 66 months, respectively, whereas 10 patients relapsed. All molecular relapses occurred within 6 months (median 3 months, range 1-6) after imatinib discontinuation. The overall probability of maintaining DMR at 6 months was 28·6%. No parameters associated with molecular relapse could be identified. Keeping in mind the rarity of paediatric CML, which contributed to the small size of the cohort, our findings illustrate that imatinib cessation after sustained DMR is successful in only limited numbers of patients, whereas much higher rates are reported in adult patients. Further research is needed to extend the cohort of paediatric CML patients who might achieve treatment-free remission with an ideal prerequisite of predicting the occurrence of molecular relapse l after imatinib cessation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.15826DOI Listing
May 2019

Asparaginase treatment in infants with acute lymphoblastic leukemia; pharmacokinetics and asparaginase hypersensitivity in Interfant-06.

Leuk Lymphoma 2019 06 11;60(6):1469-1475. Epub 2019 Jan 11.

g Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine , University Hospital Rigshospitalet , Copenhagen , Denmark.

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a rare disease in infants. Asparaginase is an essential part of the treatment, and there Acute is a need to evaluate the efficiency and safety of this drug in this age group. We evaluated the pharmacokinetics of intramuscularly administered native asparaginase (Asparaginase Medac) and PEG-asparaginase (Oncaspar) as well as hypersensitivity reactions during treatment in Interfant-06 ( www.clinicaltrials.gov : NCT01025804). All patients without hypersensitivity had sufficiently high enzyme activity levels during treatment with both preparations. Patients with hypersensitivity reactions during treatment, characterized by the presence of either or not of clinical symptoms and no measurable enzyme activity, received ineffective therapy. For optimization of the bad prognosis in infant ALL, therapeutic drug monitoring should be performed for identification of patients who should be switched to a different asparaginase preparation because of inactivation of the drug.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2018.1538507DOI Listing
June 2019

Complex and monosomal karyotype are distinct cytogenetic entities with an adverse prognostic impact in paediatric acute myeloid leukaemia. A NOPHO-DBH-AML study.

Br J Haematol 2018 11 8;183(4):618-628. Epub 2018 Nov 8.

Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.

Data on occurrence, genetic characteristics and prognostic impact of complex and monosomal karyotype (CK/MK) in children with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) are scarce. We studied CK and MK in a large unselected cohort of childhood AML patients diagnosed and treated according to Nordic Society for Paediatric Haematology and Oncology (NOPHO)-AML protocols 1993-2015. In total, 800 patients with de novo AML were included. CK was found in 122 (15%) and MK in 41 (5%) patients. CK and MK patients were young (median age 2·1 and 3·3 years, respectively) and frequently had FAB M7 morphology (24% and 22%, respectively). Refractory disease was more common in MK patients (15% vs. 4%) and stem cell transplantation in first complete remission was more frequent (32% vs. 19%) compared with non-CK/non-MK patients. CK showed no association with refractory disease but was an independent predictor of an inferior event-free survival (EFS; hazard ratio [HR] 1·43, P = 0·03) and overall survival (OS; HR 1·48, P = 0·01). MK was associated with a poor EFS (HR 1·57, P = 0·03) but did not show an inferior OS compared to non-MK patients (HR 1·14, P = 0·62). In a large paediatric cohort, we characterized AML with non-recurrent abnormal karyotype and unravelled the adverse impact of CK and MK on prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.15587DOI Listing
November 2018

Front-line imatinib treatment in children and adolescents with chronic myeloid leukemia: results from a phase III trial.

Leukemia 2018 07 20;32(7):1657-1669. Epub 2018 Jun 20.

Institute of Pathology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.

A total of 156 patients (age range 1.3-18.0 years, median 13.2 years; 91 (58.3%) male) with newly diagnosed CML (N = 146 chronic phase (CML-CP), N = 3 accelerated phase (CML-AP), N = 7 blastic phase (CML-BP)) received imatinib up-front (300, 400, 500 mg/m, respectively) within a prospective phase III trial. Therapy response, progression-free survival, causes of treatment failure, and side effects were analyzed in 148 children and adolescents with complete data. Event-free survival rate by 18 months for patients in CML-CP (median follow-up time 25 months, range: 1-120) was 97% (95% CI, 94.2-99.9%). According to the 2006 ELN-criteria complete hematologic response by month 3, complete cytogenetic response (CCyR) by month 12, and major molecular response (MMR) by month 18 were achieved in 98, 63, and 59% of the patients, respectively. By month 36, 86% of the patients achieved CCyR and 74% achieved MMR. Thirty-eight patients (27%) experienced imatinib failure because of unsatisfactory response or intolerance (N = 9). In all, 28/148 patients (19%) underwent stem cell transplantation (SCT). In the SCT sub-cohort 2/23 patients diagnosed in CML-CP, 0/1 in CML-AP, and 2/4 in CML-BP, respectively, died of relapse (N = 3) or SCT-related complications (N = 2). This large pediatric trial extends and confirms data from smaller series that first-line imatinib in children is highly effective.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-018-0179-9DOI Listing
July 2018

Associations between neutrophil recovery time, infections and relapse in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2018 09 21;65(9):e27231. Epub 2018 May 21.

Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.

Background: Children with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) treated similarly show different toxicity and leukemic responses. We investigated associations between neutrophil recovery time after the first induction course, infection and relapse in children treated according to NOPHO-AML 2004 and DB AML-01.

Procedure: Newly diagnosed patients with AML with bone marrow blast <5% between day 15 after the start of the treatment and the start of second induction course, and in complete remission after the second induction course were included (n = 279). Neutrophil recovery time was defined as the time from the start of the course to the last day with absolute neutrophil count <0.5 × 10 /l. Linear and Cox regressions were used to investigate associations.

Results: Neutrophil recovery time after the first induction course was positively associated with neutrophil recovery time after the remaining courses, and longer neutrophil recovery time (≥25 days) was associated with increased risk of grade 3-4 infections (hazard ratio 1.4, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-1.8). Longer neutrophil recovery time after the first induction (>30 days) was associated with the increased risk of relapse (5-year cumulative incidence: 48% vs. 42%, hazard ratio 1.7, 95% CI, 1.1-2.6) for cases not treated with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in first complete remission.

Conclusion: Longer neutrophil recovery time after the first induction course was associated with grade 3-4 infections and relapse. If confirmed, this knowledge could be incorporated into risk stratification strategies in pediatric AML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.27231DOI Listing
September 2018

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with t(7;12)(q36;p13) is associated with infancy and trisomy 19: Data from Nordic Society for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (NOPHO-AML) and review of the literature.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2018 Jul 30;57(7):359-365. Epub 2018 Apr 30.

Department of Pediatrics, Aarhus University Hospital Skejby, Denmark.

The t(7;12)(q36;p13) (MNX1/ETV6) is not included in the WHO classification but has been described in up to 30% of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in children <2 years and associated with a poor prognosis. We present the clinical and cytogenetics characteristics of AML cases with t(7;12)(p36;p13). A literature review identified 35 patients with this translocation, published between 2000 and 2015. Outcome data were available in 22 cases. The NOPHO-AML (Nordic Society for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology) database contained 651 patients with AML from 1993 to 2014 and seven (1.1%) had the translocation. The t(7;12) was only present in patients <2 years of age (median age 6 months) but none was diagnosed as newborn. These patients constituted 4.3% of the patients <2 years of age. There was a strong association with trisomy 19 (literature: 86%, NOPHO: 100%) and +8 (literature: 19%, NOPHO: 14%). Seventeen of 22 patients from the literature with t(7;12) and four of seven patients from the NOPHO database suffered from relapse. The patients with t(7;12) had a 3-year event free survival of 24% (literature) vs. 43% (NOPHO) and a 3-year overall survival of 42% (literature) vs. 100% (NOPHO). None of the NOPHO patients was treated with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in first complete remission. Relapse was frequent but the salvage rate using HSCT was high. We conclude that t(7;12)(q36;13) is a unique subgroup of childhood AML with presentation before 2 years of age with most cases being associated with +19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gcc.22538DOI Listing
July 2018

Prognostic discrimination based on the EUTOS long-term survival score within the International Registry for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia in children and adolescents.

Haematologica 2017 10 24;102(10):1704-1708. Epub 2017 Aug 24.

Department of Pediatric Hematology, Robert Debré Hospital, Paris, France.

The EUTOS Long-Term Survival score was tested in 350 children with chronic myeloid leukemia in first chronic phase treated with imatinib and registered in the International Registry for Childhood Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. With a median follow up of 3 years (range, 1 month to 6 years) progression and/or death (whichever came first) occurred in 23 patients. For the entire cohort of patients the 5-year progression-free survival rate was 92% (95% CI: 87%-94%) and the 5-year survival accounting for chronic myeloid leukemia deaths was 97% (95% CI: 94%-99%). Of the 309 patients allocated to low (n=199), intermediate (n=68) and high (n=42) risk groups by the EUTOS Long-Term Survival score, events (progression and/or death) occurred in 6.0%, 8.8% and 26.2%, respectively. Estimates of the 5-year progression-free survival rates according to these three risk groups were 96% (95% CI: 92%-98%), 88% (95% CI: 76%-95%) and 67% (95% CI: 48%-81%), respectively. Differences in progression-free survival according to these risk groups were highly significant (<0.0001, overall). The EUTOS Long-Term Survival score showed better differentiation of progression-free survival than the Sokal (<45 years), Euro and EUTOS scores in children and adolescents with chronic myeloid leukemia and should be considered in therapeutic algorithms. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2017.170035DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5622854PMC
October 2017

Hyperleucocytosis in paediatric acute myeloid leukaemia - the challenge of white blood cell counts above 200 × 10 /l. The NOPHO experience 1984-2014.

Br J Haematol 2017 08 25;178(3):448-456. Epub 2017 May 25.

Department of Paediatrics, Institution for Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Hyperleucocytosis in paediatric acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. We studied hyperleucocytosis in 890 patients with AML aged 0-18 years registered in the Nordic Society of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology (NOPHO) registry, with special focus on very high white blood cell counts (WBC >200 × 10/l). Eighty-six patients (10%) had WBC 100-199 × 10 /l and 57 (6%) had WBC ≥200 × 10 /l. Patients with WBC ≥200 × 10 /l had a high frequency of t(9;11) and a paucity of trisomy 8. Due to the high frequency of deaths within the first 2 weeks (30% vs. 1% for all others), overall survival in this group was inferior to patients with WBC <200 × 10 /l (39% vs. 61%). Main cause of early death was intracranial haemorrhage and leucostasis. Twenty-six per cent of these patients never started antileukaemic protocol therapy. Leukapheresis or exchange transfusion was used in 24% of patients with hyperleucocytosis without impact on survival. Patients with hyperleucocytosis surviving the first week had identical survival as patients with lower WBC. We conclude that death within the first days after diagnosis is the major challenge in patients with high WBC and advocate rapid initiation of intensive chemotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.14692DOI Listing
August 2017

Additional cytogenetic abnormalities and variant t(9;22) at the diagnosis of childhood chronic myeloid leukemia: The experience of the International Registry for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia in Children and Adolescents.

Cancer 2017 Sep 12;123(18):3609-3616. Epub 2017 May 12.

INSERM Clinical Investigation Center 1402, Poitiers University, Poitiers, France.

Background: In the adult population with newly diagnosed chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), variant translocations are usually not considered to be impairing the prognosis, whereas some additional cytogenetic abnormalities (ACAs) are associated with a negative impact on survival. Because of the rarity of CML in the pediatric population, such abnormalities have not been investigated in a large group of children with CML.

Methods: The prognostic relevance of variant t(9;22) and ACAs at diagnosis was assessed in 301 children with CML in the chronic phase who were enrolled in the International Registry for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia in Children and Adolescents.

Results: Overall, 19 children (6.3%) presented with additional cytogenetic findings at diagnosis: 5 children (1.7%) had a variant t(9;22) translocation, 13 children (4.3%) had ACAs, and 1 had both. At 3 years, for children with a classic translocation, children with ACAs, and children with a variant t(9;22) translocation who were treated with imatinib as frontline therapy, the probability of progression-free survival (PFS) was 95% (95% confidence interval [CI], 91%-97%), 100%, and 75% (95% CI, 13%-96%), respectively, and the probability of overall survival (OS) was 98% (95% CI, 95%-100%), 100% (95% CI, 43%-98%), and 75% (95% CI, 13%-96%), respectively. No statistical difference was observed between the patients with classic cytogenetic findings and those with additional chromosomal abnormalities in terms of PFS and OS.

Conclusions: In contrast to adults with CML, additional chromosomal abnormalities observed at diagnosis do not seem to have a significant prognostic impact. Cancer 2017;123:3609-16. © 2017 American Cancer Society.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.30767DOI Listing
September 2017

Outcome after intensive reinduction therapy and allogeneic stem cell transplant in paediatric relapsed acute myeloid leukaemia.

Br J Haematol 2017 08 25;178(4):592-602. Epub 2017 Apr 25.

Institution for Clinical Sciences, Department of Paediatrics, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Given that 30-40% of children with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) relapse after primary therapy it is important to define prognostic factors and identify optimal therapy. From 1993 to 2012, 543 children from the Nordic countries were treated according to two consecutive protocols: 208 children relapsed. The influence of disease characteristics, first line treatment, relapse therapy and duration of first remission on outcome was analysed. Second complete remission (CR2) was achieved in 146 (70%) patients. Estimated 5-year overall survival (OS ) was 39 ± 4% for the whole group and 43 ± 4% for the 190 patients given re-induction therapy, of whom 76% received regimens that included fludarabine, cytarabine (FLA) ± anthracyclines, 18% received Nordic Society for Paediatric Haematology and Oncology (NOPHO) upfront blocks and 5% received other regimens. Late relapse ≥1 year from diagnosis, no allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT) in first remission and core binding factor AML were independent favourable prognostic factors for survival. For the 128 children (124 in CR2) that received SCT as consolidation therapy after relapse, OS was 61 ± 5%. Four of 19 children (21%) survived without receiving SCT as part of relapse therapy. Our data show that intensive re-induction followed by SCT can give cure rates of 40% in children with relapsed AML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.14720DOI Listing
August 2017

Extramedullary leukemia in children with acute myeloid leukemia: A population-based cohort study from the Nordic Society of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (NOPHO).

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2017 Dec 23;64(12). Epub 2017 Mar 23.

Department of Pediatrics, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.

Background: The prognostic significance of extramedullary leukemia (EML) in childhood acute myeloid leukemia is not clarified.

Procedure: This population-based study included 315 children from the NOPHO-AML 2004 trial.

Results: At diagnosis, 73 (23%) patients had EML: 39 (12%) had myeloid sarcoma, 22 (7%) had central nervous system disease, and 12 (4%) had both. EML was associated with young age (median age: 2.6 years), a high white blood cell count (median: 40 × 10 /l), M5 morphology (40%), and 11q23/MLL (KMT2A) rearrangements (34%). No patient received involved field radiotherapy. Five-year event-free survival did not differ significantly between the EML and the non-EML patients (54% vs. 45%, P = 0.57), whereas 5-year overall survival (OS) was significantly lower in the EML group (64% vs. 73%, P = 0.04). The risk of induction death was significantly higher for EML patients (8% vs. 1%, P = 0.002). There was a trend toward a lower risk of relapse for EML patients (5-year cumulative incidence of relapse 33% vs. 49%, P = 0.16). Traumatic lumbar puncture did not adversely affect survival in this cohort.

Conclusions: EML was associated with increased risk of induction death impacting the OS. No patients relapsed at the primary site of the myeloid sarcoma despite management without radiotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.26520DOI Listing
December 2017

Danish Childhood Cancer Registry.

Clin Epidemiol 2016 25;8:461-464. Epub 2016 Oct 25.

Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.

Aim Of Database: The overall aim is to monitor the quality of childhood cancer care in Denmark; to register late effects of treatment; to analyze complications of permanent central venous catheters (CVCs); to study blood stream infections in children with cancer; and to study acute toxicity of high-dose methotrexate infusions in children with leukemia.

Study Population: All children below 15 years of age at diagnosis living in Denmark diagnosed after January 1, 1985 according to the International Classification of Diseases 10, including diagnoses DC00-DD48.

Main Variables: Cancer type, extent of disease, treatment, participation in international studies, recurrence of malignant disease, survival, yearly follow-up status, causes of death, and development of secondary malignancies. Type of CVC, causes for removal of the CVC, type of blood stream infection, pathogens isolated, antimicrobial sensitivity, and outcome of antimicrobial chemotherapy.

Descriptive Data: Since 1985, 4,944 children below 15 years of age have been registered in the database. There has been no significant change in the incidence of childhood cancer in Denmark since 1985. The 5-year survival has increased significantly since 1985 and is now 86%. The median number of days from diagnosis to initiation of therapy is 7 days and in 80% of the children less than 14 days. Clinical data of 95% of the patients are reported to open international studies.

Conclusion: The survival of Danish children with cancer since 2003 compares favorably with other international population-based studies. The annual reports support the collaboration within pediatric oncology in Denmark.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/CLEP.S99508DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5094529PMC
October 2016

Effect of age and body weight on toxicity and survival in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia: results from NOPHO-AML 2004.

Haematologica 2016 11 28;101(11):1359-1367. Epub 2016 Jul 28.

Department of Pediatrics, Aarhus University Hospital Skejby, Denmark.

Treatment for pediatric acute myeloid leukemia is very toxic and the association between outcome and age and Body Mass Index is unclear. We investigated effect of age and Body Mass Index on toxicity and survival in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia. We studied all patients who completed first induction course of NOPHO-AML 2004 (n=318). Toxicity following induction and consolidation courses (n=6) was analyzed. The probabilities of toxicity and death were determined using time-to-event analyses with Cox multivariate proportional hazard regression for comparative analyses. Age 10-17 years was associated with sepsis with hypotension [hazard ratio 2.3 (95% confidence interval 1.1-4.6)]. Being overweight (>1 standard deviation) was associated with requiring supplemental oxygen [1.9 (1.0-3.5)]. The 5-year event-free and overall survival were 47% and 71%. Children aged 10-17 years showed a trend for inferior 5-year overall survival compared to children aged 2-9 (64% vs. 76%; P=0.07). Infants showed a trend for superior 5-year event-free survival (66% vs. 43%; P=0.06). Overweight children aged 10-17 years showed a trend for superior survival [5-year event-free survival 59% vs. 40% (P=0.09) and 5-year overall survival 78% vs. 56% (P=0.06)] compared to healthy weight children aged 10-17 years. In conclusion, children aged 10-17 years and overweight children had a higher risk of grade 3-4 toxicity. Children aged 10-17 years showed inferior survival, but, unexpectedly, in this age group overweight children tended to have increased survival. This suggests different pharmacokinetics of chemotherapeutic drugs in adolescents and warrants further studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2016.146175DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5394883PMC
November 2016

Trisomy 8 in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia: A NOPHO-AML study.

Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2016 09 23;55(9):719-26. Epub 2016 Jun 23.

Department of Pediatrics, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.

Trisomy 8 (+8) is a common cytogenetic aberration in acute myeloid leukemia (AML); however, the impact of +8 in pediatric AML is largely unknown. We retrospectively investigated 609 patients from the NOPHO-AML database to determine the clinical and cytogenetic characteristics of +8 in pediatric AML and to investigate its prognostic impact. Complete cytogenetic data were available in 596 patients (98%) aged 0-18 years, diagnosed from 1993 to 2012, and treated according to the NOPHO-AML 1993 and 2004 protocols in the Nordic countries and Hong Kong. We identified 86 patients (14%) with +8. Trisomy 8 was combined with other cytogenetic aberrations in 68 patients (11%) (+8 other) and in 18 patients (3%), it was the sole abnormality (+8 alone). Trisomy 8 was associated with FAB M5 (36%) but otherwise clinically comparable with non-trisomy 8 patients. Trisomy 8 was favorable in patients of young age and with t(9;11). Trisomy 8 alone was associated with older age (median age 10.1 years), FAB M2 (33%), and FLT3-ITD mutations (58%). The 5-year event-free survival for patients with +8 alone was 50% and 5-year overall survival was 75%. In conclusion, +8 is one of the most common cytogenetic aberrations in pediatric AML. Trisomy 8 positive AML is a heterogeneous group and the majority of cases have additional cytogenetic aberrations. Patients with +8 alone differed from patients with +8 other and were associated with older age, FAB M2, and FLT3-ITD aberrations. There were no differences in survival despite the more frequent occurrence of FLT3-ITD in +8 alone. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gcc.22373DOI Listing
September 2016

Residual disease detected by flow cytometry is an independent predictor of survival in childhood acute myeloid leukaemia; results of the NOPHO-AML 2004 study.

Br J Haematol 2016 Aug 13;174(4):600-9. Epub 2016 Apr 13.

Queen Silvia Children's Hospital, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Early response after induction is a prognostic factor for disease outcome in childhood acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Residual disease (RD) detection by multiparameter flow cytometry (MFC) was performed at day 15 and before consolidation therapy in 101 patients enrolled in the Nordic Society of Paediatric Haemato-Oncology AML 2004 study. A multicentre laboratory approach to RD analysis was used. Event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) was significantly different in patients with and without RD at both time points, using a 0·1% RD cut-off level. RD-negative and -positive patients after first induction showed a 5-year EFS of 65 ± 7% and 22 ± 7%, respectively (P < 0·001) and an OS of 77 ± 6% (P = 0·025) and 51 ± 8%. RD-negative and -positive patients at start of consolidation therapy had a 5-year EFS of 57 ± 7% and 11 ± 7%, respectively (P < 0·001) and an OS of 78 ± 6% and 28 ± 11%) (P < 0·001). In multivariate analysis only RD was significantly correlated with survival. RD before consolidation therapy was the strongest independent prognostic factor for EFS [hazard ratio (HR):5·0; 95% confidence interval (CI):1·9-13·3] and OS (HR:7·0; 95%CI:2·0-24·5). In conclusion, RD before consolidation therapy identifies patients at high risk of relapse in need of intensified treatment. In addition, RD detection can be performed in a multicentre setting and can be implemented in future trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.14093DOI Listing
August 2016

[Children can present with liver disease without elevation of liver-specific enzymes].

Ugeskr Laeger 2015 Nov;177(47):V05150391

In children, liver diseases are rarely suspected without elevated levels of liver transaminases. We describe two cases of portal hypertension of children who presented with gastrointestinal bleeding, splenomegaly and cytopenia. Both cases had normal levels of liver transaminases; thus haematological conditions initially were suspected. An elevated alanine aminotransferase level should always lead to further examination to detect liver diseases in early stages, in order to limit development of cirrhosis.
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November 2015

Relapsed childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia in the Nordic countries: prognostic factors, treatment and outcome.

Haematologica 2016 Jan 22;101(1):68-76. Epub 2015 Oct 22.

Department of Pediatric Oncology, Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden Childhood Cancer Research Unit, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Relapse is the main reason for treatment failure in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Despite improvements in the up-front therapy, survival after relapse is still relatively poor, especially for high-risk relapses. The aims of this study were to assess outcomes following acute lymphoblastic leukemia relapse after common initial Nordic Society of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology protocol treatment; to validate currently used risk stratifications, and identify additional prognostic factors for overall survival. Altogether, 516 of 2735 patients (18.9%) relapsed between 1992 and 2011 and were included in the study. There were no statistically significant differences in outcome between the up-front protocols or between the relapse protocols used, but an improvement over time was observed. The 5-year overall survival for patients relapsing in the period 2002-2011 was 57.5±3.4%, but 44.7±3.2% (P<0.001) if relapse occurred in the period 1992-2001. Factors independently predicting mortality after relapse included short duration of first remission, bone marrow involvement, age ten years or over, unfavorable cytogenetics, and Down syndrome. T-cell immunophenotype was not an independent prognostic factor unless in combination with hyperleukocytosis at diagnosis. The outcome for early combined pre-B relapses was unexpectedly poor (5-year overall survival 38.0±10.6%), which supports the notion that these patients need further risk adjustment. Although survival outcomes have improved over time, the development of novel approaches is urgently needed to increase survival in relapsed childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2015.131680DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4697893PMC
January 2016

Congenital sideroblastic anemia due to mutations in the mitochondrial HSP70 homologue HSPA9.

Blood 2015 Dec 21;126(25):2734-8. Epub 2015 Oct 21.

Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; Department of Pathology, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA;

The congenital sideroblastic anemias (CSAs) are relatively uncommon diseases characterized by defects in mitochondrial heme synthesis, iron-sulfur (Fe-S) cluster biogenesis, or protein synthesis. Here we demonstrate that mutations in HSPA9, a mitochondrial HSP70 homolog located in the chromosome 5q deletion syndrome 5q33 critical deletion interval and involved in mitochondrial Fe-S biogenesis, result in CSA inherited as an autosomal recessive trait. In a fraction of patients with just 1 severe loss-of-function allele, expression of the clinical phenotype is associated with a common coding single nucleotide polymorphism in trans that correlates with reduced messenger RNA expression and results in a pseudodominant pattern of inheritance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2015-09-659854DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4683334PMC
December 2015