Bortezomib with chemotherapy is highly active in advanced B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia: Therapeutic Advances in Childhood Leukemia & Lymphoma (TACL) Study

Yoav H. Messinger, Paul S. Gaynon, Richard Sposto, Jeannette van der Giessen, Elena Eckroth, Jemily Malvar and Bruce C. Bostrom for the Therapeutic Advances in Childhood Leukemia & Lymphoma (TACL) Consortium


Therapy of relapsed pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is hampered by low remission rates and high toxicity, especially in second and subsequent relapses. Our phase 1 study, T2005-003, showed that the combination of bortezomib with vincristine, dexamethasone, pegylated asparaginase, and doxorubicin had acceptable toxicity. We report the phase 2 expansion of this combination in patients with relapsed ALL who failed 2-3 previous regimens. Twenty-two patients with relapsed ALL were treated with bortezomib combined with this regimen; their ages ranged from 1 to 22 years, and they had either B-precursor ALL (n = 20) or T-cell ALL (n = 2). Grade 3 peripheral neuropathy developed in 2 (9%) patients. After 3 patients died from bacterial infections, treatment with vancomycin, levofloxacin, and voriconazole prophylaxis resulted in no further infectious mortality in the last 6 patients. Fourteen patients achieved complete remission (CR), and 2 achieved CR without platelet recovery, for an overall 73% response rate, meeting predefined criteria allowing for early closure. B-precursor patients faired best, with 16 of 20 (80%) CR + CR without platelet recovery, whereas the 2 patients with T-cell ALL did not respond. Thus, this combination of bortezomib with chemotherapy is active in B-precursor ALL, and prophylactic antibiotics may be useful in reducing mortality. Bortezomib merits further evaluation in combination therapy in pediatric B-precursor ALL. This study is registered at as NCT00440726.

  • Submitted April 10, 2012.
  • Accepted May 23, 2012.
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