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Favourable outcomes for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in an isolated setting: The Tasmanian experience


Heath, JA and Macdonald, M and Starosta, H and Hitchins, S and Wills, K and Daubenton, JD, Favourable outcomes for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in an isolated setting: The Tasmanian experience, Cancer Reports, 1, (2) pp. 1-6. ISSN 2573-8348 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1002/cnr2.1107


Background: Tasmania is a large, relatively isolated island located south of mainland Australia with limited tertiary level paediatric oncology services.

Aims: To benchmark regional outcomes for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) against published international standards.

Methods: We undertook a retrospective cohort study, analysing the clinical characteristics and health outcomes of all children diagnosed with and treated for ALL in Tasmania, Australia between 2006 and 2015.

Results: Thirty-five patients aged less than 18 years were diagnosed with ALL in the study's 10-year period. Twenty-eight cases were precursor B cell in origin, with 7 cases of T-cell ALL. The great majority of children (30/35; 86%) received their entire first line treatment in Tasmania. Major treatment-related toxicities, including allergic drug reactions, and episodes of acute pancreatitis, deep venous thrombosis and bacterial sepsis, were managed locally, with one death secondary to overwhelming infection and multiorgan failure. The overall and event-free survival rates for childhood ALL were 30/35 (86%) and 28/35 (80%), respectively.

Conclusions: These results compare favourably with published results from large international cooperative group trials based in developed countries. Continued local treatment with appropriate support from a dedicated specialist paediatric oncology unit is therefore justified.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, childhood, health outcomes
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Paediatrics
Research Field:Infant and child health
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Neonatal and child health
UTAS Author:Wills, K (Dr Karen Wills)
UTAS Author:Daubenton, JD (Associate Professor John Daubenton)
ID Code:151771
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2022-08-04
Last Modified:2022-08-25

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