Medline: 3477315

Cancer 60(8): 1708-1712, 1987.

Therapy of lymphoid and undifferentiated chronic myelogenous leukemia in blast crisis with continuous vincristine and adriamycin infusions plus high-dose decadron.

Walters RS, Kantarjian HM, Keating MJ, et al.


Thirty patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive lymphoid (20 patients) or undifferentiated (ten patients) chronic myelogenous leukemia in blast crisis were treated with 0.4 mg of vincristine by continuous intravenous infusion (CIV) daily for 4 days; (doxorubicin) 12 mg/m2 of Adriamycin (Adria Laboratories, Columbus, OH) by continuous intravenous infusion daily for 4 days; and 40 mg of decadron daily on days 1 through 4, 9 through 12, and 17 through 20 (VAD). Course 2 was given starting on day 24 with the addition of cyclophosphamide 1 g/22. Overall nine patients achieved complete remission (30%) and three attained a partial remission (10%), for an overall response rate of 40%. Four patients expired during induction whereas 14 had resistant disease. Response rate was significantly higher for patients with lymphoid compared to undifferentiated morphology (55% versus 10%; P = 0.05). In lymphoid blast crisis, Calla-positive disease was associated with a higher response rate compared to Calla-negative disease (75% versus 25%; P = 0.08). Eleven patients developed infections, and seven had fever without documented infections. The median overall survival was 29 weeks. Median survival was 43 weeks for patients achieving complete remission and 20 weeks for those with resistant disease. Remission duration was 39 weeks. After primary and salvage therapy, nine patients are alive, six of them in continuous remission for 19+ to 112+ weeks. The authors conclude that VAD chemotherapy is an effective regimen with acceptable toxicity in patients with lymphoid blast crisis especially those with Calla-positive disease. Alternate induction regimens for undifferentiated disease and for maintenance therapy are currently being investigated.

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