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Low-dose oral fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide in elderly patients with untreated and relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic Leukaemia



Low-dose oral fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide in elderly patients with untreated and relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic Leukaemia



Hematological Oncology 26(4): 247-251



Fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide (FC) at conventional doses is an effective treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). However, FC at standard doses may give hematological and non-hematological toxicity, predominantly in the elderly. Intravenous or oral low-dose FC regimens remain highly effective in elderly patients with Low-Grade Lymphomas other than CLL and are well tolerated. We tested efficacy and toxicity of oral FC at reduced doses in 26 elderly patients (median 71 years) with previously untreated (UT-CLL, n = 14) or relapsed/refractory CLL (R-CLL, n = 12), unfit for conventional treatments. Twentyfour-of-26 (92%) patients (14/14, 100% UT-CLL; 10/12, 83.5% R-CLL) obtained a response, with 12/26 (46%) complete responses (9/14, 64.2% in UT-CLL; 3/12, 25% in R-CLL). Non-hematological toxicity was mild and myelosuppression was documented in 8/26 (31%) patients (4/14, 28% UT-CLL; 4/12, 33% R-CLL). With a median follow-up of 24 months, median event-free survival was 48 months with no differences between UT-CLL and R-CLL and all responders were alive. Low-dose oral FC treatment showed good efficacy in both untreated and refractory/relapsed CLL. The treatment is useful in elderly patients who cannot benefit of more aggressive schedules and is easy to administer on an outpatient basis.

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Accession: 054188850

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PMID: 18642397

DOI: 10.1002/hon.868


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