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Semin Oncol. 1987 Jun;14(2 Suppl 1):12-7.

High-dose cytosine arabinoside and daunorubicin as consolidation therapy for acute nonlymphocytic leukemia in first remission: an update.


High-dose (HD) cytosine arabinoside (ara-C) is more effective treatment than conventional-dose ara-C regimens for patients with relapsed acute nonlymphocytic leukemia (ANLL). Previously, we have reported that HD-ara-C administered during the first remission of ANLL has resulted in long remission durations and a high proportion of patients with long-term disease-free survival. In this update, those patients have been observed further and additional patients have been treated, affirming the initial conclusions. Since August 1979, 55 adult patients with ANLL in first remission received one to three courses of HD-ara-C (3 g/m2 by one-hour infusion every 12 hours for 12 doses on days 1 to 6) alone or with daunorubicin (30 mg/m2 for two or three doses on days 7 to 9). Three patients died of sepsis or hemorrhage during consolidation and 19 patients have relapsed from 5 to 48 months after diagnosis. The remaining 33 patients remain in continued complete remission (CCR) from 5 to 75 months. Denoting all deaths in remission as relapse, the actuarial probability of CCR is 51% at 75 months with an apparent plateau in the survival curve. Of the first 22 patients is 27 months. Using univariate and multivariate analysis, age is the only statistically significant prognostic parameter with the actuarial CCR of ages less than 25, 25 to 44, and greater than 44 being 100%, 48%, and 23%, respectively. Due to its heightened antileukemic activity, HD-ara-C allows brief but effective consolidation of ANLL in first remission with long-term disease-free survival comparable with other approaches including bone-marrow transplantation.

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