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February 14, 1966

Treatment of Childhood Leukemias

Author Affiliations

Chairman, Children's Cancer Study Group A Seattle

Boca Raton, Fla

JAMA. 1966;195(7):594-595. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100070138052

To the Editor:—  We have read with great interest "New Treatment Schedule With Improved Survival in Childhood Leukemia" (194:75, 1965) and wish to compliment the cooperative group on an excellent study stressing improved results with intermittent parenteral administration of methotrexate (amethopterin). The authors have been guarded in their conclusions regarding the induction phase of the study and state that "no superiority [of combined vincristine and prednisone] is claimed over combined administration of prednisone and mercaptopurine...." We wish to submit the following data which support this statement and indicate that oral administration of mercaptopurine (Purinethol) (Purinethol) or methotrexate combined with prednisone induced initial remission in the same percentage of children as did vincristine and prednisone in the reported study.In a recently completed study conducted by Group A, the accompanying results were obtained in children initially treated for acute lymphoblastic and acute undifferentiated leukemia with the specified drug combinations given

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