Sequential therapy with fludarabine, high-dose cyclophosphamide, and rituximab in previously untreated patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia produces high-quality responses: molecular remissions predict for durable complete responses.
ABSTRACT Modern combination strategies are active in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) but can have significant myelosuppression and immunosuppression that may require dose attenuation for safety. We explored a sequential treatment strategy to allow safe delivery of active agents at full doses. Previously, we studied sequential therapy with fludarabine followed by cyclophosphamide (F-->C). In that study, cyclophosphamide consolidation improved the frequency of complete response (CR) four-fold. Subsequently, rituximab was added to this regimen (F-->C-->R).
Thirty-six previously untreated CLL patients received therapy with fludarabine 25 mg/m(2) on days 1 through 5 every 4 weeks for six cycles, followed by consolidation with cyclophosphamide 3,000 mg/m(2) administered every 3 weeks for three cycles, followed by consolidation with weekly rituximab 375 mg/m(2) for four cycles. Evaluation for minimal residual disease included flow cytometry and a highly sensitive clonotypic polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The median age was 59 years (range, 37 to 71 years), 61% of patients had high-risk disease, and 58% had unmutated IgV(H) genes.
There were 32 responses (89%), including 22 CRs (61%). Consolidation with cyclophosphamide improved responses in 13 patients (36%); nine patients (25%) further improved their response with rituximab. Twenty patients (56%) achieved flow cytometric CRs, and 12 patients (33%) achieved a molecular CR (PCR negative). Patients achieving molecular CRs had an excellent prognosis with a plateau in the response duration curve, and 90% remain in clinical CR at 5 years. For the entire group, 5-year survival rate is 71% compared with a rate of 48% with our prior F-->C regimen (P = .10).
Sequential therapy with F-->C-->R yields improvement in quality of response, with many patients achieving a PCR-negative state.
Article: SIE, SIES, GITMO updated clinical recommendations for the management of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: By using GRADE system we updated the guidelines for management of CLL issued in 2006 from SIE, SIES and GITMO group. We recommended fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, rituximab (FCR) in younger and selected older patients with a good fitness status, no unfavourable genetics (deletion 17p and/or p53 mutations), and a less toxic treatment in nonfit and elderly patients. In patients without unfavourable genetics, relapsed after 24 months the same initial treatment including rituximab can be considered. In patients with unfavourable genetics, refractory or relapsed within 24 months from a prior fludarabine-based treatment, allogeneic SCT or experimental treatments should be given.Leukemia research 08/2011; 36(4):459-66. · 2.36 Impact Factor