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Non-anthracycline based remission induction therapy for newly diagnosed patients with acute myeloid leukemia aged 60 or older

Bashey A, Liu L, Ihasz A, Medina B, Corringham S, Keese K, Carrier E, Castro JE, Holman P, Lane TA, Hassidim K, Ball ED. Leuk Res. 2006 Apr;30(4):503-6. Epub 2005 Nov 21.


We assessed remission rates and toxicity in 24 consecutive elderly (age>or=60) patients with untreated Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who received the anthracycline-free combination of fludarabine, cytosine arabinoside and G-CSF (FLAG) as initial induction chemotherapy at our center. CR was achieved following one cycle of FLAG in 14 patients (58%). Another four patients cleared blasts from their bone marrow by day 30 without complete platelet recovery. Three patients died from infections prior to neutrophil recovery (12%). No other grade 3/4 toxicities and no clinically significant mucositis were seen. No significant association was found between age, WBC and cytogenetic risk group with likelihood of achieving CR. Fifteen patients proceeded to consolidation therapy and seven patients received a stem cell transplant (six autologous, one allogeneic).
Primary induction with FLAG in elderly AML patients achieves a high remission rate without prohibitive mucosal or cardiac toxicity and may thus be considered as an alternative to standard anthracycline-based regimens in this setting.

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