Phase 3 randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study of high-dose continuous infusion cytarabine alone or with laromustine (VNP40101M) in patients with acute myeloid leukemia in first relapse
Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute
Laromustine is a sulfonylhdrazine alkylator with significant antileukemia activity. An international, randomized (2:1), double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted to compare complete remission (CR) rates and overall survival (OS) in patients with first relapse acute myeloid leukemia (AML) treated with laromustine and high-dose cytarabine (HDAC) versus HDAC/placebo. Patients received 1.5 g/m(2) per day cytarabine continuous infusion for 3 days and laromustine 600 mg/m(2) (n = 177) or placebo (n = 86) on day 2. Patients in CR received consolidation with laromustine/HDAC or HDAC/placebo as per initial randomization. After interim analysis at 50% enrollment, the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) expressed concern that any advantage in CR would be compromised by the observed on-study mortality, and enrollment was held. The CR rate was significantly higher for the laromustine/HDAC group (35% vs 19%, P = .005). However, the 30-day mortality rate and median progression-free survival were significantly worse in this group compared with HDAC/placebo (11% vs 2%; P = .016; 54 days vs 34; P = .002). OS and median response durations were similar in both groups. Laromustine/HDAC induced significantly more CR than HDAC/placebo, but OS was not improved due to mortality associated with myelosuppression and its sequelae. The DSMB subsequently approved a revised protocol with laromustine dose reduction and recombinant growth factor support. The study was registered as NCT00112554 at http://www.clinicaltrials.gov.