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Hematol J. 2004;5 Suppl 1:S50-61.

Use of fludarabine in the treatment of mantle cell lymphoma, Waldenström's macroglobulinemia and other uncommon B- and T-cell lymphoid malignancies.

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  • 1Department of Haematology, Taunton and Somerset Hospital, Taunton, Somerset, UK.


After initial efforts using fludarabine as a single agent in the treatment of acute leukemia, its activity at lower and safer doses was demonstrated in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients who were refractory or had relapsed from traditional chemotherapies, representing a highly effective therapy for this condition. Fludarabine was also rapidly shown to be beneficial as first-line therapy in CLL. There is now considerable evidence that fludarabine is an effective agent in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and in combination therapy for acute myeloid leukemia. Further, good responses are achieved when fludarabine-based approaches are used as conditioning regimens prior to transplantation procedures. The actions of fludarabine are not restricted to these settings and its potential role in the treatment of a range of uncommon T- and B-cell lymphoid malignancies is slowly emerging. This review will focus on the characteristics and treatment options for two B-cell disorders, mantle cell lymphoma and Waldenström's macroglobulinemia, with emphasis on the clinical activity of fludarabine. Additionally, the advantages of using fludarabine-containing regimens for a range of other lymphoproliferative conditions will also be discussed. These include B-cell neoplasms such as the CLL variant prolymphocytic leukemia, hairy cell leukemia and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue-derived lymphomas; the T-cell disorders cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, angioimmunoblastic lymphadenopathy and other rarer T-cell diseases; and aggressive variants of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma including Richter's syndrome.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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