Hypercalcemia in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia: frequent implication of parathyroid hormone-related peptide and E2A-HLF from translocation 17;19

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Hypercalcemia is relatively rare but clinically important complication in childhood leukemic patients. To clarify the clinical characteristics, mechanisms of hypercalcemia, response to management for hypercalcemia, incidence of t(17;19) and final outcome of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) accompanied by hypercalcemia, clinical data of 22 cases of childhood ALL accompanied by hypercalcemia (>12 mg/dl) reported in Japan from 1990 to 2005 were retrospectively analyzed. Eleven patients were 10 years and older. Twenty patients had low white blood cell count (<20 × 109/l), 15 showed hemoglobin ≥8 g/dl and 14 showed platelet count ≥100 × 109/l. Parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP)-mediated hypercalcemia was confirmed in 11 of the 16 patients in whom elevated-serum level or positive immunohistochemistry of PTHrP was observed. Hypercalcemia and accompanying renal insufficiency resolved quickly, particularly in patients treated with bisphosphonate. t(17;19) or add(19)(p13) was detected in five patients among 17 patients in whom karyotypic data were available, and the presence of E2A-HLF was confirmed in these five patients. All five patients with t(17;19)-ALL relapsed very early. Excluding the t(17;19)-ALL patients, the final outcome of ALL accompanied by hypercalcemia was similar to that of all childhood ALL patients, indicating that the development of hypercalcemia itself is not a poor prognostic factor.

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