RESPONSE RATE OF PAKISTANI CHILDREN WITH ACUTE LYMPHOBLASTIC LEUKAEMIA TO MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL ACUTE LYMPHOBLASTIC LEUKAEMIA 97 CHEMOTHERAPY PROTOCOL

Muhammad Idris, Jamila Farid, Javed Sarwar, Suhaib Ahmed, Muhammad Amin Wiqar, Shahida Badsha

Abstract


Background: Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), a malignancy of lymphoid lineage cells, has
excellent prognosis in children. In Pakistan, a few studies highlighted the response of ALL to
chemotherapy. The Present study was planned to see the response rate of Pakistani children with ALL
to Medical Research Council ALL 97 (MRCALL97) chemotherapy protocol. This descriptive case
series was conducted at the Department of Haematology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and the
Department of Paediatric Oncology, Combined Military Hospital, Rawalpindi from 16th of February
2007 to 16th of August 2007. Methods: Diagnosed children with ALL fulfilling the inclusion criteria
were interviewed regarding history of the present, past illnesses, and family history. Physical
examination was performed. Presenting clinical features, blood counts and blood and bone marrow
blasts percentage were used to see the response on day 29 post chemotherapy. The data was recorded
on a structured proforma for statistical analysis. Results: A total of 33 patients were studied including
26 males and 7 females. Twenty-five patients belonged to age group 2–9 years, and 8 to <2 or >9 years,
median age being 4.5 years. Presenting WBC count was <50×109/L in 30 patients and >50×109/L in 3
patients. At the end of induction, complete remission was achieved in 31 out of 33 (94%) patients while
two patients did not achieve remission. Conclusion: Response rate of Pakistani children with ALL to
chemotherapy was superior to the previously reported figures from Pakistan.
Keywords: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, ALL, remission, chemotherapy

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