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J Clin Oncol. 1994 Oct;12(10):2051-9.

Phase II trial of fludarabine phosphate and interferon alfa-2a in advanced mycosis fungoides/Sézary syndrome.

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  • 1National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD.



This phase II study was undertaken to assess the efficacy and toxicity of the addition of continuous low-dose interferon alfa-2a (IFN) to fludarabine in patients with advanced or refractory mycosis fungoides (MF) or the Sézary syndrome (SS).


Thirty-five patients were treated with fludarabine 25 mg/m2 intravenously (IV) on days 1 to 5 every 28 days along with IFN 5 x 10(6) U/m2 subcutaneously three times per week continuously for up to eight cycles. IFN doses were escalated to 7.5 x 10(6)/m2 at day 29 if constitutional toxicities were less than grade 3. Twenty-one patients had not responded to prior chemotherapy or total-skin electron-beam irradiation (TSEB), and 10 of these had received prior deoxycoformycin (pentostatin; DCF) and intermittent high-dose IFN; seven had received only topical therapies, and seven were untreated.


Four patients achieved a complete response (CR) and 14 achieved a partial response (PR) for an overall response rate of 51% (95% confidence interval, 35% to 70%). Four of 11 patients with visceral involvement responded. The median progression-free survival duration of the patients who responded was 5.9 months, and three of the complete responders are in unmaintained response after 18 to 35 months. Grade 3 or 4 hematologic toxicity occurred in 21 patients, including two who developed persistent bone marrow aplasia. Eighteen patients developed infections during therapy, including five with herpes zoster, one with Pneumocystis carinii, one with extrapulmonary tuberculosis, and two with disseminated toxoplasmosis.


The combination of fludarabine with continuous low-dose IFN is an active regimen in patients with advanced MF/SS, including patients with visceral involvement and patients who progressed after prior therapy with DCF and IFN. This regimen has induced unmaintained remissions in a small subset of patients.

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