Forty-one consecutive children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) received prophylaxis therapy with the low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) enoxaparin during L-asparaginase treatment. Enoxaparin was given every 24 h subcutaneously at a median dose of 0.84 mg/kg per day (range, 0.45-1.33 mg/kg per day) starting at the first dose of L-asparaginase until 1 week after the last dose. Molecular analysis for thrombophilic polymorphisms documented prothrombin G20210A mutation in 3/27 (11%), homozygosity for MTHFR C677T mutation in 5/27 (18.5%, and heterozygosity for factor V Leiden mutation in 5/27 (18.5%) children. There were no thrombotic events during 76 courses of L-asparaginase in 41 patients who had received enoxaparin. One patient suffered brain infarct 7 days after enoxaparin was stopped. There were no bleeding episodes. In a historical control group of 50 ALL children who had not received prophylactic enoxaparin during L-asparaginase treatment, two had thromboembolisms (one deep vein thrombosis and one pulmonary embolism). Enoxaparin is safe and seems to be effective in prevention of thromboembolism in ALL patients during L-asparaginase therapy. This study provides pilot data for a future randomized trial of the use of LMWH during ALL therapy for the prevention of asparaginase-associated thrombotic events.
- Acute lymphoblastic leukemia