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J Clin Oncol. 2000 Oct 15;18(20):3513-21.

Homoharringtonine and low-dose cytarabine in the management of late chronic-phase chronic myelogenous leukemia.

Author information

1
Departments of Leukemia, Bioimmunotherapy,Biostatistics, and Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA. hkantarj@mdanderson.org

Abstract

PURPOSE:

: To evaluate the efficacy and toxicity profiles of a combination regimen of homoharringtonine (HHT) and low-dose cytarabine (ara-C) in patients with Philadelphia chromosome (Ph)-positive chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) who had experienced treatment failure with interferon alfa (IFNalpha) therapy.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

One hundred five patients were treated: 100 in chronic phase (15 with cytogenetic clonal evolution) and five in accelerated phase. Their median age was 52 years; all had been treated unsuccessfully with IFNalpha; 94% were in late chronic phase; 43% had been exposed to ara-C and 11% had been exposed to HHT. Patients received HHT 2.5 mg/m(2) by continuous infusion daily for 5 days and ara-C 15mg/m(2) daily in two subcutaneous injections for 5 days every 4 weeks. The outcome of the 100 patients in chronic phase was compared with a previous study group of 73 patients treated with HHT alone.

RESULTS:

Overall, the complete hematologic response (CHR) rate in chronic phase was 72%; the cytogenetic response rate was 32% (major response, 15%; complete response, 5%). Toxicities were acceptable, mostly related to moderate diarrhea (3%), headaches (3%), cardiovascular events (3%),and myelosuppression-associated complications (3% to 14%). With a median follow-up period of 25 months, the estimated 4-year survival rate was 55%. Response rates were identical with HHT plus ara-C versus HHT alone, but the survival was significantly longer with the combination after accounting for differences in the study groups and by multivariate analysis.

CONCLUSION:

The combination regimen of HHT and ara-C is effective and safe in patients with CML who have experienced treatment failure with IFNalpha and needs to be investigated together with IFNalpha as part of front-line CML therapy. The addition of ara-C did not improve the response rates but may have improved survival, perhaps through suppression of clones related to disease transformation.

PMID:
11032593
DOI:
10.1200/JCO.2000.18.20.3513
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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