Isolated late testicular relapse of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated with intensive systemic chemotherapy and response-based testicular radiation: A Children's Oncology Group study

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The incidence of isolated testicular relapse (ITR) of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has decreased with contemporary treatment strategies, but outcomes are suboptimal with a 58% 5-year overall survival (OS). This study aimed to improve outcome in patients with ITR of B-cell ALL (B-ALL) occurring after 18 months of first clinical remission using intensive systemic chemotherapy and to decrease long-term sequelae by limiting use of testicular radiation.


Forty patients in first ITR of B-ALL were enrolled. Induction (dexamethasone, vincristine, daunorubicin, and intrathecal triple therapy) was preceded by one dose of high-dose methotrexate (MTX, 5 g/m2). Following induction, 25 of 26 patients who had persistent testicular enlargement underwent testicular biopsy. Eleven had biopsy-proven disease and received bilateral testicular radiation (24 Gy), whereas twenty-nine did not.


Overall 5-year event-free survival (EFS)/OS was 65.0 ± 8.8%/73.1 ± 8.3%, with 5-year EFS 62.1 ± 11.0% vs. 72.7 ± 14.4% for patients who did not receive radiation therapy (XRT) (n = 29) compared with those who did (n = 11), respectively (P = 0.64). There were six second bone marrow relapses and six second ITRs. The proportion of second relapses was similar in the patients that received testicular radiation and those who did not. However, the 5-year OS was similar for patients who did not receive XRT (72.6 ± 10.2%) compared with those who did (72.7 ± 14.4%) (P = 0.85).


A 5-year OS rate of 73.1 ± 8.3% was obtained in children with first ITR of B-ALL occurring after 18 months of CR1 (length of first clinical remission) using intensive chemotherapy and limiting testicular radiation.

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