Advanced Phases at Diagnosis of Childhood Chronic Myeloid Leukemia : The Experience of the International Registry for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) in Children and Adolescents (I-CML-Ped Study)

Frédéric Millot, Joelle Guilhot, Meinolf Suttorp, Natacha Maledon, Meral Günes Adalet, Petr Sedlacek, Eveline S. de Bont, Chi Kong Li, Krzysztof Kalwak, Birgitte Lausen, Gordana Jakovljevic, Michael Dworzak, Andrea Hraskova, Barbara De Moerloose, Roula Farah, Andrea Biondi and Andre Baruchel


Introduction. Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a very rare disease in children and adolescents. The international registry of CML in children and adolescents (I-CML-Ped Study) established in the year 2011 has proven very beneficial to better describe this disease in pediatric cohorts.

Aims: To describe the characteristics and the outcome of the pediatric population with advanced phases of CML at initial diagnosis.

Patients and Methods: Patients enrolled in the international registry for CML in children and adolescents (I-CML-Ped Study) were the subjects of the study .Disease phases were defined according to the ELN criteria. Characteristics and outcome were determined in children in accelerated (AP) and blastic phase (BP). No recommendations were given regarding the treatment of the patients. Overall survival (OS) was estimated from diagnosis by the Kaplan and Meier method.

Results. 479 children and adolescents less than 18 years old with CML were enrolled in the I-CML-Ped study between January 2011 and April 2017. Among them, 37 patients (7.7%) presented at initial diagnosis with CML in advanced phase according to the ELN criteria: 20 children (13 boys and 7 girls, median age 12.6 years - range 3 to 18 years) and 17 children (11 boys and 6 girls, median age 11 years - range 5 to 17 years) were diagnosed in AP and in BP, respectively. Among the 17 patients diagnosed in BP, 12 (70%) had lymphoid and 2 myeloid phenotype (not specified: 2 patients with extramedullary disease as unique criteria of BP). According to the Sokal score for patients less than 45 years, 73% and 82% of the patients in AP and BP at diagnosis were high risk patients, respectively. For the 17 children in BP, treatment consisted of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) (n=3) or a combination of chemotherapy and TKI successively and/or simultaneously (n=14); 11 of them were transplanted (sibling donor: n=2; unrelated donor n=8; unknown: n=1) with a median time after diagnosis of 7 months (range, 4.5 to 10 months). For the 20 children in AP, treatment consisted of TKI (n=17) or a combination of chemotherapy and TKI successively and/or simultaneously (n=3); 6 of them were transplanted (sibling donor: n=5; unrelated donor n=1) with a median time after diagnosis of 8 months (range, 4 to 21.5 months). With a median time from diagnosis of 3.5 years (range 8 months to 13.5 years), 13 out of 17 patients in BP at initial diagnosis are alive in at least major molecular response (MMR) (11 patients) or without MMR (2 patients) including 5 patients who were not transplanted; death occurred in 3 transplanted patients (relapses: 2 patients; chronic graft versus host disease: 1 patient) and in one patient with progression of the disease. Nineteen out of 20 patients in AP at initial diagnosis are alive (one patient died after progression) in at least MMR (15 patients) or without MMR (2 patients) or unknown status (2 patients). The 5 years OS rates were 94% (95% confidence interval (CI): 66%-99%) and 74% (95% CI: 44%-89%) for patients diagnosed in AP or BP, respectively.

Conclusion: The data indicates that the frequency of advanced phases at diagnosis of CML is similar in children and in adults but with a predominance of lymphoid phenotype in children in blastic phase compared to adult population. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation remains a curative treatment of children in blastic phase at diagnosis.

Acknowledgment: The I-CML Ped study is supported by an unrestricted grant from Novartis Pharmaceutical Company

Disclosures No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

  • * Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.