Objective: To fill the gap in the current data on childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in low-income and middle-income countries.
Methods: This study included 106 children between the ages of 1 and 17 years with newly diagnosed ALL monitored between 1999 and 2010. All the patients were treated with the modified St Jude Total 13A treatment plan at the Pediatric Hematology Clinic at Harran University.
Results: Sixty-eight (64.2%) patients were boys and 38 (35.8%) were girls. The median age at diagnosis was 5.9±3.7 years. Thirty-eight (35.8%) children were classified as standard risk, 53 (39.3%) were intermediate risk, and 15 (14.2%) were high risk. Thirteen (12.3%) children died in induction before the remission date (43 d of remission induction). Of all the 93 (100%) patients who completed remission induction therapy and whose bone marrow were in remission, 5 (4.7%) had a bone marrow relapse, 1 (0.9%) had a retinal relapse, and 5 (4.7%) had secondary acute myeloid leukemia. At a median follow-up of 44 months (range, 0.36 to 135.5 mo), the estimated 5-year overall survival and event-free survival were 77.4±5% and 68.9±6.5%, respectively. The estimated 5-year overall survival for boys and girls was 76.5±6% and 65.8±8%, respectively (P=0.182).
Conclusions: St Jude Total 13A treatment protocols to treat childhood ALL can be successfully adapted, which suggests that such an approach may be useful in low socioeconomic regions; however, it should be noted that secondary leukemia can occur at a high rate.