Medline: 2784491

Journal of Clinical Oncology 7(4): 433-438, 1989.

Pentostatin in chronic lymphocytic leukemia: a phase II trial of Cancer and Leukemia Group B.

Dillman RO, Mick R, McIntyre OR


We conducted a phase II trial of deoxycoformycin (pentostatin [DCF]) in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Eligibility criteria included age greater than 18 years, Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) performance status 0 to 2, lymphocyte count greater than or equal to 15,000 cells/microL, international stage B or C disease (multiple lymph nodes involved and/or hemoglobin [Hgb] less than 11 g and/or platelets less than 100,000/microL) and no more than one prior treatment regimen. DCF dose was 4 mg/m2 intravenously (IV) weekly for 3 weeks and then every 2 weeks. There were 39 eligible patients (35 men and four women; median age, 63 years; median time from diagnosis to study entry, 3 years). Of these 39 patients, 31% were stage B and 33% had no prior treatment. Median laboratory values at entry were Hgb 10.5 g, WBC 96,100/microL, and platelets 93,500/microL. Nodal involvement was present in 90%, splenomegaly in 81%, and hepatomegaly in 47%. Patients received a median of nine DCF injections, with a range of four to 26. Three patients were not evaluable for response. Overall, 3% achieved a complete response (CR), 23% a partial response (PR), 28% showed clinical improvement (CI), and 38% had stable disease (SD). Associated toxicities (grade 2 or worse) observed were infections (52%), worsening of thrombocytopenia (26%) or anemia (33%), nausea and vomiting (31%), rash or pruritis (20%), and stomatitis (8%). We conclude that DCF is an active agent in CLL with acceptable toxicity.

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