Thiopurine Enhanced ALL Maintenance (TEAM): study protocol for a randomized study to evaluate the improvement in disease-free survival by adding very low dose 6-thioguanine to 6-mercaptopurine/methotrexate-based maintenance therapy in pediatric and adult patients (0–45 years) with newly diagnosed B-cell precursor or T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated according to the intermediate risk-high group of the ALLTogether1 protocol

Linea Natalie Toksvang*, Bodil Als-Nielsen, Christopher Bacon, Ruta Bertasiute, Ximo Duarte, Gabriele Escherich, Elín Anna Helgadóttir, Inga Rinvoll Johannsdottir, Ólafur Gísli Jónsson, Piotr Kozlowski, Cecilia Langenskjöld, Kristi Lepik, Riitta Niinimäki, Ulrik Malthe Overgaard, Mari Punab, Riikka Räty, Heidi Segers, Inge van der Sluis, Owen Patrick Smith, Marion StrulluGoda Vaitkevičienė, Hilde Skuterud Wik, Mats Heyman, Kjeld Schmiegelow

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Background: A critical challenge in current acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) therapy is treatment intensification in order to reduce the relapse rate in the subset of patients at the highest risk of relapse. The year-long maintenance phase is essential in relapse prevention. The Thiopurine Enhanced ALL Maintenance (TEAM) trial investigates a novel strategy for ALL maintenance. Methods: TEAM is a randomized phase 3 sub-protocol to the ALLTogether1 trial, which includes patients 0–45 years of age with newly diagnosed B-cell precursor or T-cell ALL, and stratified to the intermediate risk-high (IR-high) group, in 13 European countries. In the TEAM trial, the traditional methotrexate (MTX)/6-mercaptopurine (6MP) maintenance backbone (control arm) is supplemented with low dose (2.5–12.5 mg/m2/day) oral 6-thioguanine (6TG) (experimental arm), while the starting dose of 6MP is reduced from 75 to 50 mg/m2/day. A total of 778 patients will be included in TEAM during ~ 5 years. The study will close when the last included patient has been followed for 5 years from the end of induction therapy. The primary objective of the study is to significantly improve the disease-free survival (DFS) of IR-high ALL patients by adding 6TG to 6MP/MTX-based maintenance therapy. TEAM has 80% power to detect a 7% increase in 5-year DFS through a 50% reduction in relapse rate. DFS will be evaluated by intention-to-treat analysis. In addition to reducing relapse, TEAM may also reduce hepatotoxicity and hypoglycemia caused by high levels of methylated 6MP metabolites. Methotrexate/6MP metabolites will be monitored and low levels will be reported back to clinicians to identify potentially non-adherent patients. Discussion: TEAM provides a novel strategy for maintenance therapy in ALL with the potential of improving DFS through reducing relapse rate. Potential risk factors that have been considered include hepatic sinusoidal obstruction syndrome/nodular regenerative hyperplasia, second cancer, infection, and osteonecrosis. Metabolite monitoring can potentially increase treatment adherence in both treatment arms. Trial registration: EudraCT, 2018–001795-38. Registered 2020-05-15, Clinicaltrials.gov, NCT04307576. Registered 2020-03-13, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04307576.

Original languageEnglish
Article number483
Pages (from-to)483
JournalBMC Cancer
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Novo Nordisk Foundation (grant no: NNF19OC0056458); the Danish Cancer Society (grant no: R231-A14071-B34); the Danish Childhood Cancer Foundation (grant no: 2017–2034; 2018–3705); the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation (grant no: KP2018–0008).

Funding Information:
This sub-protocol is initiated by coordinating investigator professor Kjeld Schmiegelow, Copenhagen, Denmark, and is supported by the ALLTogether1 steering committee. The study group has no conflicting political or financial affiliations.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

© 2022. The Author(s).

Other keywords

  • 6-mercaptopurine
  • 6-thioguanine
  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • DNA-TG
  • Maintenance
  • Methotrexate
  • Thiopurines
  • Recurrence
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Child, Preschool
  • Infant
  • Thioguanine/therapeutic use
  • Precursor T-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma/drug therapy
  • Young Adult
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mercaptopurine
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Risk Factors
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Adolescent
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma/drug therapy

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