Persistence of Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy Despite Vincristine Reduction in Childhood B-Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Rozalyn L. Rodwin, John A. Kairalla, Emily Hibbitts, Meenakshi Devidas, Moira K. Whitley, Caroline E. Mohrmann, Reuven J. Schore, Elizabeth Raetz, Naomi J. Winick, Stephen P. Hunger, Mignon L. Loh, Marilyn J. Hockenberry, Anne L. Angiolillo, Kirsten K. Ness, Nina S. Kadan-Lottick

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6 Scopus citations


Background: Children with B-Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) are at risk for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). Children's Oncology Group AALL0932 randomized reduction in vincristine and dexamethasone (every 4 weeks vs 12 weeks during maintenance in the average-risk subset of National Cancer Institute standard-B-ALL (SR AR B-ALL). We longitudinally measured CIPN, overall and by treatment group. Methods: AALL0932 standard-B-ALL patients aged 3 years and older were evaluated at T1-T4 (end consolidation, maintenance month 1, maintenance month 18, 12 months posttherapy). Physical and occupational therapists (PT/OT) measured motor CIPN (hand and ankle strength, dorsiflexion and plantarflexion range of motion), sensory CIPN (finger and toe vibration and touch), function (dexterity [Purdue Pegboard], and walking efficiency [Six-Minute Walk]). Proxy-reported function (Pediatric Outcome Data Collection Instrument) and quality of life (Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory) were assessed. Age-and sex-matched z scores and proportion impaired were measured longitudinally and compared between groups. Results: Consent and data were obtained from 150 participants (mean age = 5.1 years [SD = 1.7], 48.7% female). Among participants with completed evaluations, 81.8% had CIPN at T1 (74.5% motor, 34.1% sensory). When examining severity of PT/OT outcomes, only handgrip strength (P <. 001) and walking efficiency (P =. 02) improved from T1-T4, and only dorsiflexion range of motion (46.7% vs 14.7%; P =. 008) and handgrip strength (22.2% vs 37.1%; P =. 03) differed in vincristine and dexamethasone every 4 weeks vs vincristine and dexamethasone 12 weeks at T4. Proxy-reported outcomes improved from T1 to T4 (P <. 001), and most did not differ between groups. Conclusions: CIPN is prevalent early in B-ALL therapy and persists at least 12 months posttherapy. Most outcomes did not differ between treatment groups despite reduction in vincristine frequency. Children with B-ALL should be monitored for CIPN, even with reduced vincristine frequency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1167-1175
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes


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