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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
E-pub ahead of print

Maintenance therapy and risk of osteonecrosis in children and young adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a NOPHO ALL2008 sub-study

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PURPOSE: Osteonecrosis is a burdensome treatment-related toxicity that is mostly diagnosed during or soon after 6-mercaptopurine (6MP)/methotrexate (MTX) maintenance therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), possibly indicating a pathogenic role of these drugs.

METHODS: We prospectively registered symptomatic osteonecrosis during treatment of 1234 patients aged 1.0-45.9 years treated according to the Nordic Society of Hematology and Oncology (NOPHO) ALL2008 protocol. MTX/6MP metabolites were measured as part of the NOPHO ALL2008 maintenance therapy study.

RESULTS: After a median follow-up of 5.6 years [interquartile range (IQR) 3.6-7.5], 68 patients had been diagnosed with symptomatic osteonecrosis. The cumulative incidence was 2.7% [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.6-3.8%] for patients aged < 10 years, 14.9% (95% CI 9.7-20.2%) for patients aged 10.0-17.9 years, and 14.4% (95% CI 8.0-20.8%) for patients aged ≥ 18 years. The median time from diagnosis of ALL to diagnosis of osteonecrosis in these age groups was 1.0 year (IQR 0.7-2.0), 2.0 years (IQR 1.1-2.4), and 2.2 years (IQR 1.8-2.8), respectively (p = 0.001). With 17,854 blood samples available for MTX and 6MP metabolite analysis, neither erythrocyte levels of 6-thioguanine (TG) nucleotides (p > 0.99), methylated 6MP metabolites (p = 0.37), MTX polyglutamates (p = 0.98) nor DNA-TG (p = 0.53) were significantly associated with the hazard of osteonecrosis in Cox models stratified by the three age groups and adjusted for sex.

CONCLUSION: Maintenance therapy intensity determined by 6MP and MTX metabolites was not associated with the risk of developing osteonecrosis in the NOPHO ALL2008 cohort.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Maintenance, Mercaptopurine, Osteonecrosis, Pharmacokinetics

ID: 66495129