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Blood. 2002 May 15;99(10):3554-61.

Therapeutic role of alemtuzumab (Campath-1H) in patients who have failed fludarabine: results of a large international study.

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M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


This study investigated the efficacy, safety, and clinical benefit of alemtuzumab (Campath-1H) for patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia exposed to alkylating agents and having failed fludarabine therapy. Ninety-three patients received alemtuzumab in 21 centers worldwide, with the aim to obtain an overall response rate of at least 20%. Dosage was increased gradually (target 30 mg, 3 times weekly, for a maximum of 12 weeks). Infection prophylaxis was mandatory, beginning on day 8, and continuing for a minimum of 2 months after treatment. Responses were assessed at weeks 4, 8, and 12, and patients were followed for 34 months. Overall objective response in the intent-to-treat population (n = 93) was 33% (CR 2%, PR 31%). Median time to response was 1.5 months (range, 0.4-3.7 months). Median time to progression was 4.7 months overall, 9.5 months for responders. At data cut-off, 27 patients (29%) were alive; overall median survival was 16 months (95% CI: 11.8-21.9) and 32 months for responders. Nineteen responders survived more than 21 months. Clinical benefit was observed both in responders and in patients with stable disease. The most common adverse events were related to infusion, generally grade 1 or 2 in severity, occurring mainly in the first week. Grade 3 or 4 infections were reported in 25 patients (26.9%). However, only 3 (9.7%) of 31 patients who responded to alemtuzumab treatment developed grade 3 or 4 infections on the study. Alemtuzumab induced significant responses in these patients with clinical benefit in the majority and with acceptable toxicity in a high-risk group.

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