T-cell large granular lymphocyte leukemia - A report on the treatment of 29 patients and a review of the literature
Del Giudice, I
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BACKGROUND. To the authors’ knowledge, there is no standard treatment for patients with T-cell large granular lymphocyte (LGL) leukemia. Available data are limited by patient numbers and coexisting pathologies. METHODS. The authors report on the use of immunosuppressants (cyclosporin A [CSA] and low-dose oral methotrexate [MTX] given continuously) and cytotoxic agents in the treatment of 29 patients with T-cell LGL leukemia age over the past 20 years. RESULTS. The overall response rate (ORR) to MTX (n = 8 patients) was 85.7% (complete hematologic response [CHR] rate, 14.3%; partial response [PR] rate, 71.4%) with dose-dependent responses observed and safe usage of doses > 10 mg/m(2) per week in 2 patients. The ORR to CSA (n = 23 patients). was 78.2% (CHR rate, 30.4%; PR rate, 47.8%). The median time to response for both agents was I month. Toxicity; although it was minor in most patients and was more common in the CSA group, included second malignancies in 5 patients. An ORR of 67% (all CHR) was attained with pentostatin (n = 4 patients); recurrences developed after a median of 4.6 years. Successful retreatment with pentostatin was possible but with increasing drug resistance. Cyclophosphamide induced CHR that lasted > 7 years with bone marrow clearance in 1 of 4 patients. Alemtuzumab induced a PR in 1 patient who had refractory disease. CONCLUSIONS. Both MTX and CSA were efficacious in the treatment of T-cell LGL leukemia but generally required long-term maintenance therapy. The authors highlight the risks of second malignancies and persistence of bone marrow disease. Although MTX and CSA were effective as first-line therapy, alemtuzumab and pentostatin merit further investigation, particularly for refractory disease.
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Molecular Haematology (including Cytogenetics Group and Cell Markers)
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CANCER, 2006, 107 pp. 570 - 578