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Mitoxantrone versus daunorubicin in induction-consolidation chemotherapy--the value of low-dose cytarabine for maintenance of remission, and an assessment of prognostic factors in acute myeloid leukemia in the elderly: final report. European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer and the Dutch-Belgian Hemato-Oncology Cooperative Hovon Group.

Author(s): Lowenberg B, Suciu S, Archimbaud E, Haak H, Stryckmans P, de Cataldo R, Dekker AW, Berneman ZN, Thyss A, van der Lelie J, Sonneveld P, Visani G, Fillet G, Hayat M, Hagemeijer A, Solbu G, Zittoun R

Affiliation(s): Daniel den Hoed Cancer Center, University Hospital, Department of Cell Biology and Genetics, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. lowenberg@haed.azr.nl

Publication date & source: 1998-03, J Clin Oncol., 16(3):872-81.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Clinical Trial, Phase III; Randomized Controlled Trial

PURPOSE AND METHODS: Optimization of remission-induction and postremission therapy in elderly individuals with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) was the subject of a randomized study in patients older than 60 years. Remission-induction chemotherapy was compared between daunomycin (DNR) 30 mg/m2 on days 1, 2, and 3 versus mitoxantrone (MTZ) 8 mg/m2 on days 1, 2, and 3, both plus cytarabine (Ara-C) 100 mg/m2 on days 1 to 7. Following complete remission (CR), patients received one additional cycle of DNR or MTZ chemotherapy and were then eligible for a second randomization between eight cycles of low-dose (LD)-Ara-C 10 mg/m2 subcutaneously every 12 hours for 1 2 days every 6 weeks or no further treatment. RESULTS: A total of 242 patients was randomized to DNR and 247 to MTZ. Median age of both study groups was 68 years. Secondary AML was documented in 26% and 25% of patients in either arm. The probability of attaining CR was greater (P = .069) with MTZ (47%) than with DNR (38%). Median duration of neutropenia was 19 (DNR) and 22 days (MTZ). The greater response rate to MTZ therapy correlated with reduced occurrence of chemotherapy resistance (32% v 47%, P = .001). With a median follow-up of 6 years, 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) is 8% in each arm. Overall survival estimates are not different between the groups (6% v 9% at 5 yrs). Poor performance status at diagnosis, high WBC count, older age, secondary AML, and presence of cytogenetic abnormalities all had an adverse impact on survival. Secondary AML and abnormal cytogenetics predicted for shorter duration of CR. Among complete responders, 74 assessable patients were assigned to Ara-C and 73 to no further therapy. Actuarial DFS was significantly longer (P = .006) for Ara-C-treated (13% [SE = 4.0%] at 5 years) versus nontreated patients (7% [SE = 3%]), but overall survival was similar (P = .29): 18% (SE = 4.6%) versus 15% (SE = 4.3%). Meta-analysis on the value of Ara-C postremission therapy confirms these results. CONCLUSION: In previously untreated elderly patients with AML, MTZ induction therapy produces a slightly better CR rate than does a DNR-containing regimen, but it has no significant effect on remission duration and survival. Ara-C in maintenance may prolong DFS, but it did not improve survival.

Page last updated: 2006-01-31

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