Impact of age on outcome of pediatric acute myeloid leukemia

A report from 2 institutions


  • Presented in part at the 46th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology, December 5, 2004, San Diego, CA.



The prognostic significance of age among pediatric patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) was investigated.


The authors reviewed the outcome of 424 patients who were ≤21 years of age at the time of diagnosis of AML (excluding acute promyelocytic leukemia) between 1983 and 2002 at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (n = 288) or the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (n = 136). Two treatment eras (1983-1989 and 1990-2002) were examined because of the greater intensity of treatment during the recent era.


After controlling for the effects of cytogenetics, white blood cell (WBC) count, French–American–British (FAB) subtype, and treatment era, they observed that age and treatment era interacted significantly in relation to event-free survival (EFS) (P = .033). Patients 10 years of age or older were at greater risk of an adverse event than younger patients in the recent era (hazard ratio = 1.8; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.3-2.6; P = .005) but not in the early era. The rate of adverse events (death or recurrence) increased significantly with each year of age in the recent era (4.3%/year; 95% CI: 1.9-6.8%; P = .001) but not in the early era. The rate of death increased significantly with each year of age in both eras (4.4%/year; 95% CI: 2.3-6.5%; P<.001). EFS and survival showed no association with study site, and the effects of age were similar at the 2 sites.


These results suggest that age is an independent prognostic factor in childhood AML and that children younger than 10 years benefit more than older children from newer intensive therapies. Cancer 2006. © 2006 American Cancer Society.