Cytosine arabinoside/cyclophosphamide pulses during continuation therapy for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Potential selective effect in T‐cell leukemia

S. J. Lauer, D. Pinkel, G. R. Buchanan, P. Sartain, J. M. Cornet, R. Krance, L. D. Borella, J. T. Casper, L. E. Kun, R. G. Hoffman, B. M. Camitta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

One hundred seventy‐seven children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) were admitted to a study designed to determine whether pulses of cytosine arabinoside (ara‐C) and cyclophosphamide (cyclo) would improve disease‐free survival (DFS). All patients received vincristine, prednisone, and asparaginase for remission induction, CNS prophylaxis with cranial irradiation and intrathecal methotrexate, and continuation therapy with 6‐mercaptopurine plus methotrexate. Forty‐seven of 101 patients with non‐T ALL and 18 of 26 patients with T‐cell ALL received ara‐C/cyclo pulses every eight weeks during continuation therapy. The age, sex, and initial white cell count distributions were similar in both treatment groups. Patients with non‐T‐cell ALL had similar DFS with or without ara‐C/cyclo pulses (36% versus 48%; P = 0.32). Ara‐C/cyclo pulses significantly improved DFS in children with T‐cell ALL (36% versus 0%; P = 0.015). Toxicities of the ara‐C/cyclo pulses included reversible pancytopenia, drug induced fever, fever associated with neutropenia, and death in one patient from systemic candidiasis while neutropenic. This is the first clinical evidence to indicate that the combination of ara‐C/cyclo used during continuation therapy is selectively beneficial in T‐cell ALL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2366-2371
Number of pages6
JournalCancer
Volume60
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 15 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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