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Posted by on Feb 16, 2020 in Leukemia | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study aimed to investigate the addition of cladribine to standard induction chemotherapy in patients with acute myeloid leukemia.  

This study concluded that the patients treated with added cladribine had better outcomes when compared to patients who received standard induction chemotherapy alone.  

Some background

Cladribine (Leustatin) is a chemotherapy drug used mainly for the treatment of hairy cell leukemia and occasionally for other types of cancer. Standard induction chemotherapy (SIC) is a cancer treatment commonly used before surgery or radiation. It involves powerful drugs to kill cancer cells or shrink tumors.

It was unknown if the outcomes for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) treated with a combination of cladribine and SIC were better than outcomes for patients treated with SIC alone.

Methods & findings

This study involved 108 patients with AML aged 60 or younger. All patients had previously been treated with two different regimes. One group of 50 patients were treated with daunorubicin (Cerubidine) and cytarabine (Cytosar-U), also known as DA3+7. This is the most common SIC. Another group of 58 patients were treated with cladribine and DA3+7 (DAC). Patients were followed up for an average of 18 months.

60% of the DA3+7 group achieved remission after SIC compared to 79% of the DAC group. Patients in the DAC group had a 45% better overall survival compared to the DA3+7 group. The 18-month survival was 68% in the DAC group compared to 47% in the DA3+7 group.

8.6% of patients in the DAC group developed a swelling in the lungs due to cladribine.

The bottom line

This study concluded that AML patients treated with DAC had improved remission induction rate and overall survival compared to the DA3+7 group.  

The fine print

This study was based on medical records. Some information might have been missing. Also, the number of patients included was rather small. Further larger studies are needed.  

Published By :

Annals of Hematology

Date :

Jan 23, 2020

Original Title :

Improved survival of AML patients by addition of cladribine to standard induction chemotherapy.

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