Title

Survival of adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in Germany and the United States.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2014

Comments

This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in: PLoS One.

Volume 9, Issue 1, Janurary 2014, e85554.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085554. Copyright © PLoS One

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Adulthood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a rare disease. In contrast to childhood ALL, survival for adults with ALL is poor. Recently, new protocols, including use of pediatric protocols in young adults, have improved survival in clinical trials. Here, we examine population level survival in Germany and the United States (US) to gain insight into the extent to which changes in clinical trials have translated into better survival on the population level.

METHODS: Data were extracted from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database in the US and 11 cancer registries in Germany. Patients age 15-69 diagnosed with ALL were included. Period analysis was used to estimate 5-year relative survival (RS).

RESULTS: Overall 5-year RS was estimated at 43.4% for Germany and 35.5% for the US (p = 0.004), with a decrease in survival with increasing age. Survival was higher in Germany than the US for men (43.6% versus 37.7%, p = 0.002) but not for women (42.4% versus 40.3%, p>0.1). Five-year RS estimates increased in Germany and the US between 2002 and 2006 by 11.8 and 7.3 percent units, respectively (p = 0.02 and 0.04, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: Survival for adults with ALL continues to be low compared with that for children, but a substantial increase in 5-year survival estimates was seen from 2002 to 2006 in both Germany and the US. The reasons for the survival differences between both countries require clarification.