The prognosis of adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia is much worse than that of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia, even when patients achieve complete remission. Early response to treatment can be an important alternative indicator of treatment outcomes. The purpose of our current study was to identify the prognostic value of the blast percentage of the induction interim bone marrow, which might predict relapse-free survival and overall survival in patients with adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia. A retrospective analysis was performed on 80 adult patients diagnosed with Philadelphia chromosome-negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia from 1994 to 2011. Complete remission was observed in 75 (93.8%) patients after induction chemotherapy. On multivariate analysis, a reduction of blasts to a level of 5% or less in the induction interim bone marrow and CD20 positivity were significant prognostic predictors of relapse-free survival (hazard ratio, HR = 2.88, p = 0.006, and HR = 2.67, p = 0.010) and overall survival (HR = 2.10, p = 0.033, and HR = 2.39, p = 0.013). The blast percentage of the induction interim bone marrow may be a useful prognostic factor to predict outcome.

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