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Early and treatment-related deaths in childhood acute myeloid leukaemia in the Nordic countries: 1984-2003.

Journal article
Authors Lene Molgaard-Hansen
Merja Möttönen
Heidi Glosli
Guðmundur K Jónmundsson
Jonas Abrahamsson
Henrik Hasle
Lotta Mellander
Published in British journal of haematology
Volume 151
Issue 5
Pages 447-59
ISSN 1365-2141
Publication year 2010
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics
Pages 447-59
Language en
Keywords Adolescent, Age Distribution, Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols, adverse effects, therapeutic use, Child, Child, Preschool, Epidemiologic Methods, Finland, epidemiology, Heart Failure, chemically induced, mortality, Humans, Iceland, epidemiology, Infant, Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute, drug therapy, mortality, Opportunistic Infections, mortality, Scandinavia, epidemiology, Sex Distribution, Time Factors
Subject categories Cancer and Oncology, Children


Despite major improvements in the cure rate of childhood acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), 5-15% of patients still die from treatment-related complications. In a historical prospective cohort study, we analysed the frequency, clinical features and risk factors for early deaths (ED) and treatment-related deaths (TRD) in 525 children included in the Nordic Society of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology (NOPHO)-AML-84, -88 and -93 trials. Seventy patients (13%) died before starting treatment or from treatment-related complications. The death rate rose from 11% in NOPHO-AML-84 to 29% in -88, but then fell to 8% in -93. Sixteen patients (3%) died within the first 2 weeks, mainly from bleeding or leucostasis. Hyperleucocytosis, age <2 or ≥10 years were risk factors. After day 15, 10% of patients died from treatment-related complications with infection as the main cause of death. Risk factors were age <2 or ≥10 years and treatment according to the NOPHO-AML-88 protocol. The number of EDs and TRDs in AML is high. Therefore optimal antifungal prophylaxis is essential, and studies on the benefit of antibacterial prophylaxis and individual risk factors for ED and TRD are needed.

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