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Acute lymphoblastic leukemia in elderly: the Polish Adult Leukemia Group (PALG) experience

Abstract

This is a retrospective, multicenter study to evaluate biological features and outcome of elderly patients diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) during the last 10 years in ten hematological centers in Poland. Eighty-seven patients aged 60 years or older were studied. To our knowledge, this is one of the largest group of elderly patients with ALL evaluated. We have not observed differences in immunological subtypes and Ph chromosome incidence as compared with younger adult ALL presented in the literature. Induction chemotherapy was administered in 75 patients. We observed complete remission (CR) in 34 (45%, 95% CI: 33–56%) patients. Induction death occurred in 11 (15%) patients. Thirty patients (40%) showed primary resistance to chemotherapy. Median overall survival (OS) of all patients was 150 days. Median disease-free survival (DFS) of responding patients was 180 days. We observed four long-term survivors (DFS longer than 3 years) in our group of patients. Factors influencing OS were CR achievement, female gender, and WBC below 30×109/l. Male gender was the only prognostic factor negatively affecting probability to achieve CR. We have not observed any differences in either biology or outcome between patients aged 60–69 years and those aged more than 70 years. ALL of the elderly is a rare disease with poor prognosis. Further clinical trials evaluating the disease features, outcome, and new therapeutic approaches are warranted.

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Acknowledgements

The following members of the Polish Adult Leukemia Group (PALG) are also authors of this publication: I. Seferyńska MD PhD (Warsaw), M. Całbecka MD, PhD, (Toruń), L. Konopka MD, PhD (Warsaw), K. Zawilska MD, PhD (Poznań). This work was supported in part by a grant from the Medical University of Lodz no. 503-106-2.

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Correspondence to T. Robak.

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Robak, T., Szmigielska-Kapłon, A., Wrzesień-Kuś, A. et al. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia in elderly: the Polish Adult Leukemia Group (PALG) experience. Ann Hematol 83, 225–231 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00277-003-0808-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00277-003-0808-9

Keywords

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • ALL
  • Elderly
  • Treatment outcome