A phase II trial of induction and consolidation therapy of acute myeloid leukemia with weekly oral idarubicin alone in poor risk elderly patients

Abstract

We have conducted a phase II outpatient trial testing weekly oral administration of idarubicin (ZAVEDOS-ZVD) alone to determine the rate of objective response and toxicity in poor risk acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients over 60 years of age. The treatment consisted of three phases: induction, with 20 mg/m2 of ZVD on days 1, 8, 15 and 22; consolidation with 20 mg/m2 of ZVD for 4 weeks; and maintenance with six cycles lasting 3 months and consisting of oral 6 mercapto-purine 2 mg/kg/day, 4 days a week for 2 months; subcutaneous cytarabine 1 mg/kg, once a week for 2 months; and oral ZVD 20 mg/m2 on day 1 and day 8 of the third month. In case of failure after induction course, patients received salvage treatment with 4 weekly oral doses of 40 mg/m2 ZVD. Fifty-one patients with a median age of 76 years were enrolled and could receive induction course. Of these 51 patients, 37 could receive subsequent courses, which consisted either of consolidation, or salvage. Only 11 patients underwent maintenance treatment. Sixty-three percent of patients had to be hospitalized during induction, for a median duration of 14.5 days, and 87% required hospitalization during salvage for a median duration of 17.5 days. Only five patients (38%) required hospitalization during consolidation. There were three toxic deaths (6%), two from hemorrhage and one from pulmonary embolism. The overall response rate was 29%, with 12 patients in complete response (25%) and two in partial response (4%). The median overall survival rate is 4 months for the whole population, and the median DFS is 9.6 months among the 14 responding patients. The results of this trial show that this new weekly schedule of oral ZVD chemotherapy is feasible and effective in poor risk elderly patients with AML. This regimen may be helpful for patients unable to tolerate intensive intravenous regimens, and is a real alternative to palliative treatments.

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Correspondence to R Bouabdallah.

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Bouabdallah, R., Lefrère, F., Rose, C. et al. A phase II trial of induction and consolidation therapy of acute myeloid leukemia with weekly oral idarubicin alone in poor risk elderly patients. Leukemia 13, 1491–1496 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.leu.2401522

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Keywords

  • elderly patient
  • acute myeloid leukemia
  • oral idarubicin
  • toxicity
  • response

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