BACKGROUND - As more pediatric patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) survive, comparison of the late effects of various therapies becomes increasingly important. This study of survivors of AML is the largest to date comparing the late effects of patients treated with chemotherapy (CT) with or without irradiation (RT) or CT followed by bone marrow transplantation (BMT).
PROCEDURE - In a retrospective review of 228 patients with AML or MDS from 1970 to 1995, 62 survived and had follow-up data available more than 1 year following completion of therapy. Ten patients with Down syndrome were excluded. Twenty-six received CT and 26 underwent BMT. Weight and height Z scores, endocrine, ophthalmologic, renal, and cardiac function following CT +/- RT or BMT +/- total body irradiation (TBI) were compared at a mean follow-up of 7.4 and 5.6 years, respectively.
RESULTS - Both groups experienced a decrement in height and increase in weight. The mean height Z score in the CT group fell from -0.29 to -0.72 (P = 0.02) and mean weight Z score rose from -0.06 at diagnosis (T0) to 0.51 at last follow-up (T2) (P = 0.02), a finding no longer significant when patients who received RT were excluded. The mean height Z score in the BMT group fell from -0.17 at TO to -0.65 at T2 (P = 0.02), while the mean weight rose from 0.29 at T0 to 0.84 at T2, (P = 0.07). Six of 9 BMT adolescent girls experienced ovarian failure versus 0 of 11 girls treated with CT (P = 0.002). Seven adolescent CT males and seven BMT males showed normal pubertal progression. Two BMT patients require thyroid hormone supplementation, and one receives growth hormone. Six BMT patients and one CT patient developed cataracts, all of whom received irradiation (P = 0.10). Serum creatinine level, hypertension, or left ventricular shortening fraction were not different in the two groups. One BMT patient has chronic graft versus host disease.
CONCLUSIONS - Growth, renal, and cardiac functions were similar in the two groups. The need for estrogen supplementation was more frequent following BMT. Recommendations concerning therapy for AML should depend on the probability of cure.