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Favorable impact of low-dose fludarabine plus epirubicin and cyclophosphamide regimen (FLEC) as treatment for low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphomas

Favorable impact of low-dose fludarabine plus epirubicin and cyclophosphamide regimen (FLEC) as treatment for low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphomas
Favorable impact of low-dose fludarabine plus epirubicin and cyclophosphamide regimen (FLEC) as treatment for low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphomas
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: In recent years, conventional dose of fludarabine (FLU) alone or in combination with other drugs has been reported to be effective in the treatment of low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (LG-NHL). In particular, FLU and cyclophosphamide (CY) or FLU and mitoxantrone or idarubicin combined regimens have shown considerable therapeutic activity both as first line and salvage therapies, producing overall response rates ranging from 40-50% in previously treated patients and up to 70-90% in untreated ones. However severe neutropenia and infective complications have been reported in a significant number of patients. Based on these premises we evaluated the efficacy and toxicity of a new regimen combining low-doses of FLU with epirubicin (EPI) and CY (FLEC) in a group of advanced treatment-requiring LG-NHL patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate a strategy aimed at lowering therapy-related toxic effects without affecting the reported good response rate.

DESIGN AND METHODS: Thirty patients with de novo, relapsed or refractory LG-NHL entered the study. FLEC regimen was as follows: EPI 60 mg/m(2) i.v. on day one, plus FLU 15 mg/m(2)/day i.v. (max 25 mg) and CY 250 mg/m(2)/day i.v. for four days.

RESULTS: All 30 patients were evaluable for response, 13 (43%) fulfilled the criteria for CR and 11 (36%) for PR with an overall response rate of 79%. None of the 13 patients who achieved CR had relapsed after a follow-up of 2 to 23 months (median duration 13 months). With regard to age, 13/14 older patients (>/= 70 years) responded to the treatment and 9 of them maintained their response after a median of 13 months (range 2-22); six of the 14 (43%) obtained a CR. Therapy-related toxicity was mild regardless of age, neutropenia (43%) and fever of undetermined origin (26%) being the major side effects. Remarkably, a documented infection was recorded only in 2/30 (6%) patients.

INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: A low-dose FLU-based FLEC regimen appeared to be effective for advanced treatment-requiring LG-NHL, reproducing a similar overall response rate (79%) reported to have been achieved with other FLU based combination therapies. Toxic side effects were negligible and in particular documented infections were remarkably uncommon even in the group of elderly patients.
fludarabine, NHL, toxicity, neutropenia, elderly
0390-6078
716-720
Bocchia, Monica
55dbb34d-ab5d-4828-a4a4-a1fef1b41bb6
Bigazzi, Catia
8c830e99-b779-4375-b043-df4ce7708604
Marconcini, Silvia
8005d8d3-417e-4662-8568-8bd4415301b4
Forconi, Francesco
ce9ed873-58cf-4876-bf3a-9ba1d163edc8
Marotta, Giuseppe
7cfa6aac-457c-4b9c-a279-5988a69706c9
Algeri, Renato
61617741-faa5-421e-abc1-f744181543a1
Lauria, Francesco
f01f163b-abcb-4aad-b952-f4356692f519
Bocchia, Monica
55dbb34d-ab5d-4828-a4a4-a1fef1b41bb6
Bigazzi, Catia
8c830e99-b779-4375-b043-df4ce7708604
Marconcini, Silvia
8005d8d3-417e-4662-8568-8bd4415301b4
Forconi, Francesco
ce9ed873-58cf-4876-bf3a-9ba1d163edc8
Marotta, Giuseppe
7cfa6aac-457c-4b9c-a279-5988a69706c9
Algeri, Renato
61617741-faa5-421e-abc1-f744181543a1
Lauria, Francesco
f01f163b-abcb-4aad-b952-f4356692f519

Bocchia, Monica, Bigazzi, Catia, Marconcini, Silvia, Forconi, Francesco, Marotta, Giuseppe, Algeri, Renato and Lauria, Francesco (1999) Favorable impact of low-dose fludarabine plus epirubicin and cyclophosphamide regimen (FLEC) as treatment for low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. Haematologica, 84 (8), 716-720. (PMID:10457407)

Record type: Article

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: In recent years, conventional dose of fludarabine (FLU) alone or in combination with other drugs has been reported to be effective in the treatment of low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (LG-NHL). In particular, FLU and cyclophosphamide (CY) or FLU and mitoxantrone or idarubicin combined regimens have shown considerable therapeutic activity both as first line and salvage therapies, producing overall response rates ranging from 40-50% in previously treated patients and up to 70-90% in untreated ones. However severe neutropenia and infective complications have been reported in a significant number of patients. Based on these premises we evaluated the efficacy and toxicity of a new regimen combining low-doses of FLU with epirubicin (EPI) and CY (FLEC) in a group of advanced treatment-requiring LG-NHL patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate a strategy aimed at lowering therapy-related toxic effects without affecting the reported good response rate.

DESIGN AND METHODS: Thirty patients with de novo, relapsed or refractory LG-NHL entered the study. FLEC regimen was as follows: EPI 60 mg/m(2) i.v. on day one, plus FLU 15 mg/m(2)/day i.v. (max 25 mg) and CY 250 mg/m(2)/day i.v. for four days.

RESULTS: All 30 patients were evaluable for response, 13 (43%) fulfilled the criteria for CR and 11 (36%) for PR with an overall response rate of 79%. None of the 13 patients who achieved CR had relapsed after a follow-up of 2 to 23 months (median duration 13 months). With regard to age, 13/14 older patients (>/= 70 years) responded to the treatment and 9 of them maintained their response after a median of 13 months (range 2-22); six of the 14 (43%) obtained a CR. Therapy-related toxicity was mild regardless of age, neutropenia (43%) and fever of undetermined origin (26%) being the major side effects. Remarkably, a documented infection was recorded only in 2/30 (6%) patients.

INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: A low-dose FLU-based FLEC regimen appeared to be effective for advanced treatment-requiring LG-NHL, reproducing a similar overall response rate (79%) reported to have been achieved with other FLU based combination therapies. Toxic side effects were negligible and in particular documented infections were remarkably uncommon even in the group of elderly patients.

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More information

Published date: August 1999
Keywords: fludarabine, NHL, toxicity, neutropenia, elderly
Organisations: Cancer Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 358190
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/358190
ISSN: 0390-6078
PURE UUID: 7b75d806-5d51-4c93-80ca-1e8dc3e556d3

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Date deposited: 12 Nov 2013 11:06
Last modified: 16 Jul 2019 21:21

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Contributors

Author: Monica Bocchia
Author: Catia Bigazzi
Author: Silvia Marconcini
Author: Giuseppe Marotta
Author: Renato Algeri
Author: Francesco Lauria

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