Purpose: To determine whether early intensification with 12 courses of intravenous methotrexate and intravenous mercaptopurine (IVMTX/IVMP) is superior to 12 courses of repetitive, low-dose oral MTX with IV MP (LDMTX/IVMP) for prevention of relapse in children with lower-risk B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Patients and Methods: Seven hundred nine patients were entered onto the study. Vincristine, prednisone, and asparaginase were used for remission induction. Patients were randomized to receive intensification with either IVMTX 1,000 mg/m2 plus IVMP 1,000 mg/m2 (regimen A) or LDMTX 30 mg/m2 every 6 hours for six doses with IVMP 1,000 mg/m2 (regimen B). Twelve courses were administered at 2-week intervals. Triple intrathecal therapy (TIT) was used for CNS prophylaxis. Continuation therapy included standard oral MP, weekly MTX, and TIT every 12 weeks for 2 years. Results: Six hundred ninety-nine (99%) patients achieved remission. Three hundred forty-nine were assigned to regimen A and 350 to regimen B. The estimated 4-year continuous complete remission (CCR) rate far patients treated with regimen A is 80.3% (SE= 2.9%) and with regimen B is 75.9% (SE= 3.1%). By log-rank analysis, regimen A demonstrated superior CCR (P = .013. Transient neutropenia/thrombocytopenia, bacterial sepsis, neurotoxicity, stomatitis, and hospitalizations were more frequent among patients treated on regimen A. Conclusion: Intensification with IVMTX/IVMP is more effective than LDMTX/IVMP for prevention of relapse in children with B-precursor ALL at lower risk for relapse.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research