Favorable Trisomies and ETV6-RUNX1 Predict Cure in Low-Risk B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: Results From Children’s Oncology Group Trial AALL0331

Leonard A. Mattano, Meenakshi Devidas, Kelly W. Maloney, Cindy Wang, Alison M. Friedmann, Patrick Buckley, Michael J. Borowitz, Andrew J. Carroll, Julie M. Gastier-Foster, Nyla A. Heerema, Nina S. Kadan-Lottick, Yousif H. Matloub, David T. Marshall, Linda C. Stork, Mignon L. Loh, Elizabeth A. Raetz, Brent L. Wood, Stephen P. Hunger, William L. Carroll, Naomi J. Winick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


PURPOSE Children’s Oncology Group (COG) AALL0331 tested whether pegaspargase intensification on a low-intensity chemotherapy backbone would improve the continuous complete remission (CCR) rate in a low-risk subset of children with standard-risk B-acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). METHODS AALL0331 enrolled 5,377 patients with National Cancer Institute standard-risk B-ALL (age 1-9 years, WBC < 50,000/mL) between 2005 and 2010. Following a common three-drug induction, a cohort of 1,857 eligible patients participated in the low-risk ALL random assignment. Low-risk criteria included no extramedullary disease, < 5% marrow blasts by day 15, end-induction marrow minimal residual disease < 0.1%, and favorable cytogenetics (ETV6-RUNX1 fusion or simultaneous trisomies of chromosomes 4, 10, and 17). Random assignment was to standard COG low-intensity therapy (including two pegaspargase doses, one each during induction and delayed intensification) with or without four additional pegaspargase doses at 3-week intervals during consolidation and interim maintenance. The study was powered to detect a 4% improvement in 6-year CCR rate from 92% to 96%. RESULTS The 6-year CCR and overall survival (OS) rates for the entire low-risk cohort were 94.7% ± 0.6% and 98.7% ± 0.3%, respectively. The CCR rates were similar between arms (intensified pegaspargase 95.3% ± 0.8% v standard 94.0% ± 0.8%; P = .13) with no difference in OS (98.1% ± 0.5% v 99.2% ± 0.3%; P = .99). Compared to a subset of standard-risk study patients given identical therapy who had the same early response characteristics but did not have favorable or unfavorable cytogenetics, outcomes were significantly superior for low-risk patients (CCR hazard ratio 1.95; P = .0004; OS hazard ratio 5.42; P < .0001). CONCLUSION Standard COG therapy without intensified pegaspargase, which can easily be given as an outpatient with limited toxicity, cures nearly all children with B-ALL identified as low-risk by clinical, early response, and favorable cytogenetic criteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1540-1553
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number14
StatePublished - May 10 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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