Adoption of uniform guidelines has improved the outcome of paediatric cancers worldwide.
The MCP-841 protocol for treating paediatric acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) was jointly developed by four cancer centres in India and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), US.
MCP 841 protocol is an old but effective tool with tolerable toxicities.
The number of survivors of ALL in India has increased dramatically due to this standard treatment protocol developed more than 15 years ago. These guidelines have also helped to reduce the costs of ALL treatment.
It is found ideal for limited-resource settings, whereas BFM 90, BFM-95 and UKALL-XI protocols are widely used in Western countries.
The MCP 841 protocol includes effective drugs given in such a way that minimal supportive care is required. The approximate cost of a complete course of treatment with MCP 841 protocol in the Indian setting is about 3,000 USD (2,00,000 INR). The cost, however, can vary with the hospital the patient is admitted, and transfusion requirements.
This protocol is considered one of the biggest achievements of the Indian paediatric oncology community because its widespread adoption helped in improving the long-term survival in paediatric ALL from 20% to 60%.