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Rituximab, fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and mitoxantrone: a new, highly active chemoimmunotherapy regimen for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Author(s): Bosch F, Abrisqueta P, Villamor N, Terol MJ, Gonzalez-Barca E, Ferra C, Gonzalez Diaz M, Abella E, Delgado J, Carbonell F, Garcia Marco JA, Escoda L, Ferrer S, Monzo E, Gonzalez Y, Estany C, Jarque I, Salamero O, Muntanola A, Montserrat E

Affiliation(s): Department of Hematology, Hospital Clinic, Villarroel 170, 08036 Barcelona, Spain. fbosch@clinic.ub.es

Publication date & source: 2009-09-20, J Clin Oncol., 27(27):4578-84. Epub 2009 Aug 24.

Publication type: Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

PURPOSE: The addition of monoclonal antibodies to chemotherapy has significantly improved treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Based on excellent results with the chemotherapy-only regimen fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and mitoxantrone (FCM), we built a new chemoimmunotherapy combination--rituximab plus FCM (R-FCM). We report a phase II clinical trial consisting of an initial treatment with R-FCM followed by rituximab maintenance. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Seventy-two untreated CLL patients age 70 years or younger received rituximab 500 mg/m(2) on day 1 (375 mg/m(2) the first cycle), fludarabine 25 mg/m(2) IV on days 1 to 3, cyclophosphamide 200 mg/m(2) on days 1 to 3, and mitoxantrone 6 mg/m(2) IV on day 1, given at 4-week intervals with up to six cycles supported with colony-stimulating factor. Patients achieving response received maintenance with rituximab 375 mg/m(2) every 3 months for 2 years. RESULTS: The overall response, minimal residual disease (MRD) -negative complete response (CR), MRD-positive CR, and partial response rates were 93%, 46%, 36%, and 11%, respectively. Severe neutropenia developed in 13% of patients. Major and minor infections were reported in 8% and 5% of cycles, respectively. Advanced clinical stage, del(17p), or increased serum beta2-microglobulin levels correlated with a lower CR rate. CONCLUSION: R-FCM is highly effective in previously untreated CLL, with an 82% CR rate and a high proportion of MRD-negative CRs (46%). Treatment toxicity is acceptable. Parameters correlating with a lower response rate were advanced clinical stage, high serum beta2-microglobulin levels, and del(17p). Based on these results, R-FCM warrants further investigation in randomized clinical trials.

Page last updated: 2009-10-20

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