Indexed on: 22 Dec '06Published on: 22 Dec '06Published in: Pediatric Blood & Cancer
Anthracyclines are effective antineoplastic drugs in acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). However, their use is limited by cardiomyopathy, which occurs in children already at cumulative doses of 300 mg/m(2) (given as daunorubicin equivalent).To evaluate anthracycline-associated cardiomyopathy in pediatric AML-patients, the incidence of early and late (>1 year after intensive AML chemotherapy) clinical and subclinical cardiotoxicity was analyzed out of a total of 1,207 patients <18 years treated between 1993 and 2003 in trials AML-BFM93/98: 1,010 protocol patients with de novo AML, 121 with Down syndrome (DS)-AML, and 76 with secondary AML. The cumulative dose of anthracyclines was generally risk-adapted: 300-450 mg/m(2) using 1-4-hr infusions of anthracyclines with the assumed lowest cardiotoxic potential. Eight hundred eighty-five patients (73%) were eligible for the analysis of early and 547 (45%) of late cardiotoxicity (1,399 follow-up data).Thirty-eight patients (4.3%), including 3 DS-AML and 1 secondary AML, suffered from early cardiomyopathy. After 5 years, four patients showed temporarily or persistently a reduced shortening fraction, which led to death in one DS-AML patient. Including these 4 patients, late cardiomyopathy was seen in 16 patients (cumulative incidence after 11 years: 5% +/- 1%). Nine patients (2.5 +/- 1%) showed clinical symptoms, five of them had persistent abnormal shortening fraction. Late subclinical cardiomyopathy occurred temporarily in seven patients. Late clinical cardiomyopathy mainly affected patients with a second anthracycline therapy (secondary malignancy) and those with early cardiotoxicity.In spite of a highly intensive and effective treatment, the frequency of anthracycline-associated cardiomyopathy was low in the AML-BFM studies.