Clinical utility and implications of asparaginase antibodies in acute lymphoblastic leukemia
Liu C et al. – Antibodies were related to clinical allergy and to low systemic exposure to asparaginase, leading to lower risk of some adverse effects of therapy. Methods We studied allergic reactions and serum antibodies to E. coli asparaginase (Elspar) in 410 children treated on St. Jude Total XV protocol for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Results
Of 169 patients (41.2%) with clinical allergy, 147 (87.0%) were positive for anti-Elspar antibody. Of 241 patients without allergy, 89 (36.9%) had detectable antibody. Allergies (P=0.0002) and antibodies (P=6.6 × 10?6) were higher among patients treated on the low-risk arm than among those treated on the standard/high-risk arm. Among those positive for antibody, the antibody titers were higher in those who developed allergy than in those who did not (P<1 × 10?15). Antibody measures at week 7 of continuation therapy had a sensitivity of 87–88% and a specificity of 68–69% for predicting or confirming clinical reactions. The level of antibodies was inversely associated with serum asparaginase activity (P=7.0 × 10?6). High antibody levels were associated with a lower risk of osteonecrosis (odds ratio=0.83; 95% confidence interval, 0.78–0.89; P=0.007).