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Leukemia. 2002 Jul;16(7):1259-66.

Induction therapy by frequent administration of doxorubicin with four other drugs, followed by intensive consolidation and maintenance therapy for adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia: the JALSG-ALL93 study.

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First Department of Internal Medicine, Nihon University School of Medicine, Japan.


In order to improve the disappointing prognosis of adult patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), we applied similar induction therapy as that used for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), ie frequent administration of doxorubicin (DOX). DOX 30 mg/m(2) was administered from days 1 to 3 and from days 8 to 10 together with vincristine, prednisolone, cyclophosphamide and L-asparaginase, followed by three courses of consolidation and four courses of intensification. From December 1993 to February 1997, 285 untreated adult patients with de novo ALL were entered. Of 263 evaluable patients (age 15 to 59; median 31), 205 (78%) obtained complete remission (CR). At a median follow-up period of 63 months, the predicted 6-year overall survival (OS) rate of all patients was 33%, and disease-free survival (DFS) rate of CR patients was 30%, respectively. By multivariate analysis, favorable prognostic factors for the achievement of CR were age <40 and WBC <50 000/microl; for longer OS were age <30 and WBC <30 000/microl; and for longer DFS of CR patients were FAB L1 and ALT <50 IU/l. Among 229 patients who had adequate cytogenetic data, 51 (22%) had Philadelphia (Ph) chromosome. Ph-negative chromosome was a common favorable prognostic factor for CR, longer OS and DFS. DFS was not different between early sequential intensification (n = 48) and intermittent intensification (n = 43) during the maintenance phase. Among CR patients under 40 years old, the 6-year survival was not different between the allocated related allo-BMT group (34 patients) and the allocated chemotherapy group (108 patients). However, among patients with Ph-positive ALL, the survival of patients who actually received allo-BMT was superior to that of patients who received chemotherapy (P = 0.046).

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