Medline: 11023504

Blood 96(8): 2723-2729, 2000.

Cladribine with prednisone versus chlorambucil with prednisone as first-line therapy in chronic lymphocytic leukemia: report of a prospective, randomized, multicenter trial.

Robak T, Blonski JZ, Kasznicki M, et al.


The efficacy and toxicity of cladribine (2-CdA) + prednisone (P) versus chlorambucil (Chl) + P were compared in previously untreated patients with progressive or symptomatic chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in a randomized, multicenter prospective trial. Eligible patients were assigned to either 2-CdA 0.12 mg/kg per day in 2-hour infusions and P 30 mg/m(2) per day for 5 consecutive days or Chl 12 mg/m(2) per day and P 30 mg/m(2) per day for 7 consecutive days. Three courses were administered at 28-day intervals or longer if myelosuppression developed. The therapy was finished if complete response (CR) was achieved. Of 229 available patients 126 received 2-CdA+P and 103 received Chl+P as a first-line treatment. CR and overall response rates were significantly higher in the patients treated with 2-CdA+P (47% and 87%, respectively) than in the patients treated with Chl+P (12% and 57%, respectively) (P = .001). Progression-free survival was significantly longer in the 2-CdA-treated group (P = .01), but event-free survival was not statistically different. Thirteen percent of patients were refractory to 2-CdA+P and 43% to Chl+P (P = .001). Drug-induced neutropenia was more frequently observed during 2-CdA+P (23%) than Chl+P therapy (11%) (P = .02), but thrombocytopenia occurred with similar frequency in both groups (36% and 27%, respectively). Infections were seen more frequently in the 2-CdA+P-treated group (56%) than in the Chl+P-treated group (40%; P = .02). Death rates have so far been similar in patients treated with 2-CdA (20%) and with Chl (17%). The probability of overall survival calculated from Kaplan-Meier curves at 24 months was also similar for both groups (78% and 82%, respectively). (Blood. 2000;96:2723-2729)

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