Dr. Larsen Discusses Outcomes for AYA ALL Patients

Dr. Eric Larsen, from the Maine Children's Cancer Program, Discusses Outcomes for AYA Patients With Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Eric Larsen, MD, medical director of the Maine Children's Cancer Program, discusses a large phase III study that compared outcomes between adolescent and young adult (AYA) and younger patients with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia (HR-ALL).

The study included 501 AYA patients, who were defined as those being age 16 to 30, and 466 younger patients age 1 to 15. Larsen notes that the power of this study was its ability to enroll enough patients to produce a statistically significant outcome.

In general, the AYA patients demonstrated worse outcomes, more relapses, and lower rates of both event-free and overall survival. Additionally, Larsen notes these patients had a very high rate of remission deaths, which he defines as a death that is unrelated to the HR-ALL, during remission, while continuing the therapy.

Larsen believes these findings point to the need for new strategies that reduce relapses and toxicities for the AYA group of patients.