Eflornithine as Postimmunotherapy Maintenance in High-Risk Neuroblastoma: Externally Controlled, Propensity Score-Matched Survival Outcome Comparisons

Javier Oesterheld, William Ferguson, Jacqueline M. Kraveka, Genevieve Bergendahl, Thomas Clinch, Elizabeth Lorenzi, Don Berry, Randal K. Wada, Michael S. Isakoff, Don E. Eslin, Valerie I. Brown, William Roberts, Peter Zage, Virginia L. Harrod, Deanna S. Mitchell, Derek Hanson, Giselle L. Saulnier Sholler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


PURPOSELong-term survival in high-risk neuroblastoma (HRNB) is approximately 50%, with mortality primarily driven by relapse. Eflornithine (DFMO) to reduce risk of relapse after completion of immunotherapy was investigated previously in a single-arm, phase II study (NMTRC003B; ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02395666) that suggested improved event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) compared with historical rates in a phase III trial (Children Oncology Group ANBL0032; ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00026312). Using patient-level data from ANBL0032 as an external control, we present new analyses to further evaluate DFMO as HRNB postimmunotherapy maintenance.PATIENTS AND METHODSNMTRC003B (2012-2016) enrolled patients with HRNB (N = 141) after standard up-front or refractory/relapse treatment who received up to 2 years of continuous treatment with oral DFMO (750 ± 250 mg/m2 twice a day). ANBL0032 (2001-2015) enrolled patients with HRNB postconsolidation, 1,328 of whom were assigned to dinutuximab (ch.14.18) treatment. Selection rules identified 92 NMTRC003B patients who participated in (n = 87) or received up-front treatment consistent with (n = 5) ANBL0032 (the DFMO/treated group) and 852 patients from ANBL0032 who could have been eligible for NMTRC003B after immunotherapy, but did not enroll (the NO-DFMO/control group). The median follow-up time for DFMO/treated patients was 6.1 years (IQR, 5.2-7.2) versus 5.0 years (IQR, 3.5-7.0) for NO-DFMO/control patients. Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression compared EFS and OS for overall groups, 3:1 (NO-DFMO:DFMO) propensity score-matched cohorts balanced on 11 baseline demographic and disease characteristics with exact matching on MYCN, and additional sensitivity analyses.RESULTSDFMO after completion of immunotherapy was associated with improved EFS (hazard ratio [HR], 0.50 [95% CI, 0.29 to 0.84]; P =.008) and OS (HR, 0.38 [95% CI, 0.19 to 0.76]; P =.007). The results were confirmed with propensity score-matched cohorts and sensitivity analyses.CONCLUSIONThe externally controlled analyses presented show a relapse risk reduction in patients with HRNB treated with postimmunotherapy DFMO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-102
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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