Short course high dose mitoxantrone with high dose cytarabine is effective therapy for adult lymphoblastic leukemia
Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols
Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma
Mitoxantrone is effective in the treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia and, in combination with either vincristine-prednisone or cytarabine (HiDAc), it is also effective in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). As mitoxantrone exhibits a steep dose-response curve against ovarian cancer cells and acute myeloid leukemia cells in vitro, we evaluated the safety and efficacy of high dose mitoxantrone with HiDAc in the treatment of ALL. Patients received mitoxantrone 20-37.5 mg/m2 daily for 2 days or 1 dose of 40-80 mg/m2 and HiDAc 3 g/m2 over 3 h once daily for five doses. All eight of the patients with previously untreated disease and eight of ten patients with ALL in relapse achieved complete remission (CR). The untreated patients included two with Philadelphia positive ALL who also achieved CR (one after one course of mitoxantrone-HiDAc, and one after one course of mitoxantrone-HiDAc followed by one additional dose of vincristine and daily prednisone). Seven of the eight previously untreated patients who achieved CR are still in remission. The one T-cell ALL has relapsed at 2 months after CR. The toxicity was acceptable. The regimen thus induces a remission rate equivalent to that of traditional vincristine-prednisone. The 'quality of remission' may be superior, and this therapy should be explored as a primary induction therapy in patients with ALL.