This study reviews the experience of all leukemia patients under 20 years of age seen in Connecticut hospitals during the period 1940-1962. The survival experience in this series compares favorably with that in several specialty treatment centers, and improved markedly from the 1940’s to the middle 1950’s. There has been little change in survival since. Improvement in survival was substantially greater among patients with acute lymphocytic compared with patients with acute myelogenous leukemia.
During the period that patient survival increased rapidly, the rate of leukemia incidence increased only moderately. There was little change over time with respect to patient characteristics such as initial white blood cell count and the presence of bleeding and hemorrhage. There was a marked increase in the use of steroid and chemotherapy, but the continued increase in the use of chemotherapy after the middle 1950’s and changes in the specific agents used were not associated with further improvement in patient survival. How the new and modified treatment regimens introduced since 1962 will be reflected in unselected series such as the one in Connecticut remains to be seen.