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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 78

of 'Treatment of relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia'

Modified vincristine, doxorubicin, and dexamethasone regimen in the treatment of resistant or relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia. An Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group study.
Friedenberg WR, Anderson J, Wolf BC, Cassileth PA, Oken MM
Cancer. 1993;71(10):2983.
BACKGROUND: Thirty-six patients with relapsing or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia were entered into a Phase II study of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group.
METHODS: A modified VAD regimen was given: a 96-hour infusion of 1.6 mg vincristine and 36 mg/m2 doxorubicin with dexamethasone 40 mg by mouth daily for 4 days every 3 weeks. The treatment was continued until two cycles beyond maximal response, which was evaluated after two and six cycles.
RESULTS: Of the 33 evaluable patients, 7 (21%) achieved a partial response (PR), with no complete remissions. One-third of the patients (11 of 33) had progressive disease and 15 of 33 (45%) had stable disease, as defined by the National Cancer Institute Working Group criteria. The median duration of PR was 6.5 months, with a median survival time of 14.8 months. A PR was achieved by 3 of 19 patients (16%) who had received prior vincristine +/- doxorubicin and 4 of 14 patients (28%) who had not received vincristine or doxorubicin. Of the nine patients whose disease was refractory to prior therapy, five (55%) achieved a PR. The neurotoxicity of VAD was reduced by decreasing the frequency of the dexamethasone, but 22 of 36 (61%) patients still became infected. Only on infection (2.8%) was life threatening, and there were no infectious deaths.
CONCLUSIONS: Because fludarabine has shown superior responses, VAD should be reserved for patients who do not respond to alkylating agents and fludarabine and in whom alternative treatments are not appropriate.
Marshfield CCOP, Wisconsin.