Clinical Implications of Minimal Residual Disease Detection in Infants With KMT2A-Rearranged Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Treated on the Interfant-06 Protocol

Janine Stutterheim, Inge M. van der Sluis, Paola de Lorenzo, Julia Alten, Philip Ancliffe, Andishe Attarbaschi, Benoit Brethon, Andrea Biondi, Myriam Campbell, Giovanni Cazzaniga, Gabriele Escherich, Alina Ferster, Rishi S. Kotecha, Birgitte Lausen, Chi Kong Li, Luca Lo Nigro, Franco Locatelli, Rolf Marschalek, Claus Meyer, Martin SchrappeJan Stary, Ajay Vora, Jan Zuna, Vincent H.J. van der Velden, Tomasz Szczepanski, Maria Grazia Valsecchi, Rob Pieters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: Infant acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is characterized by a high incidence of KMT2A gene rearrangements and poor outcome. We evaluated the value of minimal residual disease (MRD) in infants with KMT2A-rearranged ALL treated within the Interfant-06 protocol, which compared lymphoid-style consolidation (protocol IB) versus myeloid-style consolidation (araC, daunorubicin, etoposide/mitoxantrone, araC, etoposide). MATERIALS AND METHODS: MRD was measured in 249 infants by DNA-based polymerase chain reaction of rearranged KMT2A, immunoglobulin, and/or T-cell receptor genes, at the end of induction (EOI) and end of consolidation (EOC). MRD results were classified as negative, intermediate (< 5 × 10-4), and high (≥ 5 × 10-4). RESULTS: EOI MRD levels predicted outcome with 6-year disease-free survival (DFS) of 60.2% (95% CI, 43.2 to 73.6), 45.0% (95% CI, 28.3 to 53.1), and 33.8% (95% CI, 23.8 to 44.1) for infants with negative, intermediate, and high EOI MRD levels, respectively (P = .0039). EOC MRD levels were also predictive of outcome, with 6-year DFS of 68.2% (95% CI, 55.2 to 78.1), 40.1% (95% CI, 28.1 to 51.9), and 11.9% (95% CI, 2.6 to 29.1) for infants with negative, intermediate, and high EOC MRD levels, respectively (P < .0001). Analysis of EOI MRD according to the type of consolidation treatment showed that infants treated with lymphoid-style consolidation had 6-year DFS of 78.2% (95% CI, 51.4 to 91.3), 47.2% (95% CI, 33.0 to 60.1), and 23.2% (95% CI, 12.1 to 36.4) for negative, intermediate, and high MRD levels, respectively (P < .0001), while for myeloid-style-treated patients the corresponding figures were 45.0% (95% CI, 23.9 to 64.1), 41.3% (95% CI, 23.2 to 58.5), and 45.9% (95% CI, 29.4 to 60.9). CONCLUSION: This study provides support for the idea that induction therapy selects patients for subsequent therapy; infants with high EOI MRD may benefit from AML-like consolidation (DFS 45.9% v 23.2%), whereas patients with low EOI MRD may benefit from ALL-like consolidation (DFS 78.2% v 45.0%). Patients with positive EOC MRD had dismal outcomes. These findings will be used for treatment interventions in the next Interfant protocol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652-662
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2021


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