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ABSTRACT: Intravenous alemtuzumab is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL). Alemtuzumab given intravenously as first-line treatment in 32 patients resulted in an overall response rate of 91% with 81% complete responses. Studies in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia have shown subcutaneous alemtuzumab to be equally as effective as intravenous alemtuzumab. The UKCLL05 pilot study examined the efficacy and toxicity of this more convenient method of administration in 9 previously untreated patients with T-PLL. Only 3 of 9 patients (33%) responded to treatment. Furthermore, 2 of 9 patients (22%) died while on treatment. Recruitment was terminated because of these poor results. After rescue therapy with intravenous alemtuzumab and/or pentostatin, median progression-free survival and overall survival were similar to the intravenous group. Alemtuzumab delivered intravenously, but not subcutaneously, remains the treatment of choice for previously untreated T-PLL.
Blood 09/2011; 118(22):5799-802. DOI:10.1182/blood-2011-08-372854 · 10.45 Impact Factor