Significance of minimal residual disease in pediatric mixed phenotype acute leukemia: a multicenter cohort study


Matthew J. Oberley, Sunil S. Raikar, Gerald B. Wertheim, Jemily Malvar, Richard Sposto, Karen R. Rabin, Jyotinder N. Punia, Alix E. Seif, Viviane C. Cahen, Reuven J. Schore, Dragos C. Luca, Terri Guinipero, William G. Woods, Maurice R. G. O’Gorman, Etan Orgel

The rarity of mixed phenotype acute leukemia (MPAL) has precluded adequate data to incorporate minimal residual disease (MRD) monitoring into therapy. Fluidity in MPAL classification systems further complicates understanding its biology and outcomes; this includes uncertainty surrounding the impact of shifting diagnostic requirements even between iterations of the World Health Organization (WHO) classification. Our primary objective was to address these knowledge gaps. To do so, we analyzed clinicopathologic features, therapy, MRD, and survival in a centrally-reviewed, multicenter cohort of MPAL uniformly diagnosed by the WHO classification and treated with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) regimens. ALL induction therapy achieved an EOI MRD negative (<0.01%) remission in most patients (70%). EOI MRD positivity was predictive of 5-year EFS (HR = 6.00, p < 0.001) and OS (HR = 9.57, p = 0.003). Patients who cleared MRD by EOC had worse survival compared with those EOI MRD negative. In contrast to adults with MPAL, ALL therapy without transplantation was adequate to treat most pediatric patients. Earlier MRD clearance was associated with better treatment success and survival. Prospective trials are now necessary to validate and refine MRD thresholds within the pediatric MPAL population and to identify salvage strategies for those with poor predicted survival.

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