Mercaptopurine Ingestion Habits, Red Cell Thioguanine Nucleotide Levels, and Relapse Risk in Children With Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: A Report From the Children's Oncology Group Study AALL03N1.

Author(s): Landier W,  Hageman L,  Chen Y,  Kornegay N,  Evans WE,  Bostrom BC,  Casillas J,  Dickens DS,  Angiolillo AL,  Lew G,  Maloney KW,  Mascarenhas L,  Ritchey AK,  Termuhlen AM,  Carroll WL,  Relling MV,  Wong FL,  Bhatia S

Journal: J Clin Oncol

Date: 2017 May 20

Major Program(s) or Research Group(s): NCORP

PubMed ID: 28339328

PMC ID: PMC5455766

Abstract: Purpose Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are generally instructed to take mercaptopurine (6-MP) in the evening and without food or dairy products. This study examines the association between 6-MP ingestion habits and 6-MP adherence, red cell thioguanine nucleotide (TGN) levels, and risk of relapse in children with TMPT wild-type genotype. Methods Participants included 441 children with ALL receiving oral 6-MP for maintenance. Adherence was monitored over 48,086 patient-days using the Medication Event Monitoring System; nonadherence was defined as adherence rate < 95%. 6-MP ingestion habits examined included: takes 6-MP with versus never with food, takes 6-MP with versus never with dairy, and takes 6-MP in the evening versus morning versus varying times. Results Median age at study was 6 years (range, 2 to 20 years); 43.8% were nonadherent. Certain 6-MP ingestion habits were associated with nonadherence (taking 6-MP with dairy [odds ratio (OR), 1.9; 95% CI, 1.3 to 2.9; P = .003] and at varying times [OR, 3.4; 95% CI, 1.8 to 6.3; P = .0001]). After adjusting for adherence and other prognosticators, there was no association between 6-MP ingestion habits and relapse risk (6-MP with food: hazard ratio [HR], 0.7; 95% CI, 0.3 to 1.9; P = .5; with dairy: HR, 0.3; 95% CI, 0.07 to 1.5; P = .2; taken in evening/night: HR, 1.1; 95% CI, 0.2 to 7.8; P = .9; at varying times: HR, 0.3; 95% CI, 0.04 to 2.7; P = .3). Among adherent patients, there was no association between red cell TGN levels and taking 6-MP with food versus without (206.1 ± 107.1 v 220.6 ± 121.6; P = .5), with dairy versus without (220.1 ± 87.8 v 216.3 ± 121.3; P =.7), or in the evening/night versus morning/midday versus varying times (218.8 ± 119.7 v 195.5 ± 82.3 v 174.8 ± 93.4; P = .6). Conclusion Commonly practiced restrictions surrounding 6-MP ingestion might not influence outcome but may hinder adherence. Future recommendations regarding 6-MP intake during maintenance therapy for childhood ALL should aim to simplify administration.