ETV6-RUNX1 fusion is the most common genetic aberration in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). To evaluate whether outcomes for this drug-sensitive leukemia are improved by contemporary risk-directed therapy, we studied clinical features, response and adverse events of 168 children with newly diagnosed ETV6-RUNX1-positive ALL on St Jude Total Therapy studies XIIIA (N36), XIIIB (N38) and XV (N94). Results were compared with 494 ETV6-RUNX1-negative B-precursor ALL patients. ETV6-RUNX1 was associated with age 1-9 years, pre-treatment classification as low risk and lower levels of minimal residual disease (MRD) on day 19 of therapy (P0.001). Event-free survival (EFS) or overall survival (OS) did not differ between patients with or without ETV6-RUNX1 in Total XIIIA or XIIIB. By contrast, in Total XV, patients with ETV6-RUNX1 had significantly better EFS (P0.04; 5-year estimate, 96.82.4% versus 88.32.5%) and OS (P0.04; 98.91.4% versus 93.71.8%) than those without ETV6-RUNX1. Within the ETV6-RUNX1 group, the only significant prognostic factor associated with higher OS was the treatment protocol Total XV (versus XIIIA or XIIIB) (P0.01). Thus, the MRD-guided treatment schema including intensive asparaginase and high-dose methotrexate in the Total XV study produced significantly better outcomes than previous regimens and demonstrated that nearly all children with ETV6-RUNX1 ALL can be cured.
- childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia