Minimal residual disease is a significant predictor of treatment failure in non T-lineage adult acute lymphoblastic leukaemia: final results of the international trial UKALL XII/ECOG2993.
Patel B., Rai L., Buck G., Richards SM., Mortuza Y., Mitchell W., Gerrard G., Moorman AV., Duke V., Hoffbrand AV., Fielding AK., Goldstone AH., Foroni L.
The predictive value of molecular minimal residual disease (MRD) monitoring using polymerase chain reaction amplification of clone-specific immunoglobulin or T-cell Receptor rearrangements was analysed in 161 patients with non T-lineage Philadelphia-negative acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) participating in the UK arm of the international ALL trial UKALL XII/Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) 2993. MRD positivity (> or =10(-4)) in patients treated with chemotherapy alone was associated with significantly shorter relapse-free survival (RFS) at several time-points during the first year of therapy. MRD status best discriminated outcome after phase 2 induction, when the relative risk of relapse was 8.95 (2.85-28.09)-fold higher in MRD-positive (> or =10(-4)) patients and the 5-year RFS 15% [95% confidence interval (CI) 0-40%] compared to 71% (56-85%) in MRD-negative (<10(-4)) patients (P = 0.0002) When MRD was detected prior to autologous stem cell transplantation (SCT), a significantly higher rate of treatment failure was observed [5-year RFS 25% (CI 0-55%) vs. 77% (95% CI 54-100%) in MRD-negative/<10(-4), P = 0.01] whereas in recipients of allogeneic-SCT in first complete remission, MRD positivity pre-transplant did not adversely affect outcome. These data provide a rationale for introducing MRD-based risk stratification in future studies for the delineation of those at significant risk of treatment failure in whom intensification of therapy should be evaluated.