Description

For the last ten years, EORTC’s efforts in this field have focused on acute lymphoblastic leukemias (ALL), the main childhood leukemia. In the past, EORTC was also active in myeloid leukemias and in non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Current cure rates in pediatric ALL are high. Most pediatric hemato-oncologists believe that the limits of chemotherapeutical treatment have been reached. But, looking at the optimal use of antileukemic agents, molecular genetic analyses of leukemic cells, pharmacodynamic studies of drugs, pharmacogenetic studies of the host’s drug-metabolising enzymes, drug transporters and drug targets, there is a rational and scientific basis to further improve treatment efficacy and reduce complications. Early treatment response, defined by the measurement of minimal residual disease, which reflects both the drug responsiveness of leukemic cells and host pharmacodynamics/pharmaco-genomics, is a very reliable prognostic indicator for gauging the intensity of treatment. So EORTC research is focusing on these aspects, aiming to improve the effectiveness of treatment and quality of life for these patients.

Main Achievements

Established that radiotherapy was not required in medium and high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Underscored the importance of asparaginase in induction therapy of childhood lymphoid malignancies.

Demonstrated that the detection of a high level of residual disease at end of induction treatment identified patients at a high risk or relapse in childhood.

Related Projects

FP7 IntReALL –  A randomized Phase III Study Conducted by the Resistant Disease Committee of the International BFM Study Group: A Children Leukemia Group Study. EORTC is contributing to the clinical trial (EORTC 58111).

Research Group

Group documents
  • Chair

    Pierre Rohrlich

    Hopital De L'Archet

    Nice, France

  • Secretary

    Jutte van der Werff ten Bosch

    Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel

    Brussels, Belgium

  • Treasurer

    Barbara De Moerloose

    Universitair Ziekenhuis Gent

    Gent, Belgium