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Keywords:

  • acute myeloid leukemia;
  • bone marrow transplantation;
  • chronic health condition;
  • late effects;
  • pediatric;
  • quality of life

Background

Therapy for childhood acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has historically included chemotherapy with or without autologous bone marrow transplant (autoBMT) or allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloBMT). We sought to compare health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) outcomes between these treatment groups.

Procedure

Five-year survivors of AML diagnosed before age 21 and enrolled and treated from 1979 to 1995 on one of 4 national protocols were interviewed. These survivors or proxy caregivers completed a health questionnaire and an HRQOL measure.

Results

Of 180 survivors, 100 were treated with chemotherapy only, 26 with chemotherapy followed by autoBMT, and 54 with chemotherapy followed by alloBMT. Median age at interview was 20 years (range 8–39). Twenty-one percent reported a severe or life-threatening chronic health condition (chemotherapy-only 16% vs. autoBMT 21% vs. alloBMT 33%; P = 0.02 for chemotherapy-only vs. alloBMT). Nearly all (95%) reported excellent, very good or good health. Reports of cancer-related pain and anxiety did not vary between groups. HRQOL scores among 136 participants ≥14 years of age were similar among groups and to the normative population, though alloBMT survivors had a lower physical mean summary score (49.1 alloBMT vs. 52.2 chemotherapy-only; P = 0.03). Multivariate analyses showed the presence of severe chronic health conditions to be a strong predictor of physical but not mental mean summary scores.

Conclusions

Overall HRQOL scores were similar among treatment groups, although survivors reporting more health conditions or cancer-related pain had diminished HRQOL. Attention to chronic health conditions and management of cancer-related pain may improve QOL. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2014;61:729–736. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.