In a nutshell
This study aimed to compare two salvage regimes for patients with relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia. This study concluded that both regimens have similar effectiveness in terms of overall response but one shows a significant reduction in side effects in these patients.
Patients with relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (R/R AML) commonly have poorer outcomes. The best treatment for R/R AML is salvage chemotherapy followed by allogeneic stem cell transplants (allo-HSCT). Salvage therapy is used when the initial treatment fails. Allo-HSCT involves taking healthy cells from a donor and transplanting them to the patient. This helps to replace cells that have been killed by previous treatment (like chemotherapy).
The optimal salvage treatment for patients with R/R AML is still unknown.
Methods & findings
This study involved 155 patients with R/R AML. The two salvage regimes compared were mitoxantrone, etoposide, and cytarabine (MEC) and mitoxantrone and high dose AraC (Ara-C couplets). 87 patients received MEC and 68 received Ara-C couplets.
Overall response (OR) was achieved in 43.7% of the MEC group compared to 54.4% of the Ara-C group. Patients in the Ara-C group had slightly longer overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) when compared to the MEC group.
54.4% of the Ara-C group proceeded to alloHSCT compared to 31% of the MEC group.
72% of the Ara-C group experienced a low number of white blood cells with fever compared to 94% of the MEC group. 2.94% of the Ara-C group experienced severe gastrointestinal side effects compared to 17.2% of the MEC group.
The bottom line
This study concluded that although both regimens have equivalent similar in terms of overall response, Ara-C couplets treatment shows a significant reduction in side effects.
The fine print
This study was based on medical records. The treatment was not randomized. Further controlled studies are needed.
Published By :
American Journal of Hematology
Apr 20, 2020