CNS involvement in AML at diagnosis is rare and does not affect response or survival: data from 11 ECOG-ACRIN trials

Chezi Ganzel, Ju Whei Lee, Hugo F. Fernandez, Elisabeth M. Paietta, Selina M. Luger, Hillard M. Lazarus, Larry D. Cripe, Dan Douer, Peter H. Wiernik, Jacob M. Rowe, Martin S. Tallman, Mark R. Litzow

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Central nervous system (CNS) involvement in patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is rare, and systematic data regarding outcome are scarce. This retrospective study summarized data from 11 consecutive Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group-American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ECOG-ACRIN) clinical trials for patients with newly diagnosed AML. In all, 3240 patients with AML were analyzed, and 36 (1.11%) were found to have CNS involvement at diagnosis. The incidence of CNS disease among the 5 studies with per protocol mandatory lumbar puncture (LP) was similar to the incidence among studies in which LP was performed at the discretion of the investigator (0.86% vs 1.41%; P 5 .18). There was no significant difference in the rate of complete remission (CR) among patients with CNS involvement and those with other extramedullary disease (EMD) sites or those with no EMD (52.8% vs 59.3%-60%). The median overall survival (OS) for patients who were CNS positive, who had other EMD, or who had no EMD was 11.4, 11.3, and 12.7 months, respectively. There was no difference in OS among patients with CNS involvement, those with other EMD (hazard ratio [HR], 0.96; adjusted P 5 .84), and those with no EMD (HR, 1.19; adjusted P 5 .44). In conclusion, the reported incidence of CNS involvement in patients with newly diagnosed AML is low (1.1%), irrespective of whether an LP is mandatory or not. The presence of CNS disease at diagnosis in and of itself does not seem to portend a poor prognosis for achieving an initial CR or for OS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4560-4568
Number of pages9
JournalBlood Advances
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 23 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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