Background: Advances in risk stratification have improved the 3-year disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) of low-risk pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (LR-AML) to approximately 70 % and 85 % respectively. LR-AML is defined by favorable cytogenetic/molecular features and/or optimal early response to therapy. However, cumulative anthracycline exposure in contemporary Children's Oncology Group (COG) regimens approach a doxorubicin equivalent exposure of 540 mg/m2; with rates of non-infection related left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD) approaching 15 %. This is a major cause of toxicity in these patients and precludes the further use of anthracyclines in the relapsed setting; therefore, strategies that reduce cardiotoxicity while maintaining excellent outcomes are needed. Patients and methods: Twenty-seven pediatric patients with LR-AML were treated with an anthracycline-reduced approach (Aflac-AML regimen) between 2011 and 2016. Patients received four courses of therapy including three high-dose cytarabine containing courses and a cumulative doxorubicin equivalent exposure of 390 mg/m2, a 28 % reduction in anthracycline dosing compared to current COG regimens. Results: The 3-year DFS and OS was 70.0 % and 85.5 % respectively, from end of Induction I (first chemotherapy cycle) with a median follow-up of 3.2 years. These survival outcomes are comparable to current LR-AML regimens. Only two patients developed non-infection related LVSD during therapy and more importantly, none developed LVSD after completion of therapy. Conclusion: These findings suggest that LR-AML outcomes can be maintained using a reduced anthracycline chemotherapy regimen, resulting in lower cardiac toxicity. This new chemotherapy backbone is now being tested prospectively (NCT04326439) to further validate its use in pediatric LR-AML.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research