This study was designed to study the efficacy and toxicity of an adriamycin-containing regimen (CAP: cyclophosphamide, adriamycin, and prednisone) in patients with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). CAP was given to clinical complete remission followed by 18 months of cyclophosphamide-prednisone (CP) maintenance. Forty-seven patients with previously untreated CLL were treated. These patients initially presented with advanced stage (Rai III or IV) or had less advanced stage (Rai 0-II) patients and demonstrated evidence of disease progression. Patients received 750 mg/m2 of cyclophosphamide intravenously on day 1, 50 mg/m2 of adriamycin intravenously on day 1 and 100 mg/day of prednisone on days 1-5. Courses were repeated at 3-week intervals until clinical CR, at which time maintenance with cyclophosphamide and prednisone (CP) was commenced. A maximum cumulative dose of 450 mg/m2 of adriamycin (9 courses of CAP) was given. Twenty (43% of 47 patients obtained a CR and 11 (23% obtained a partial remission. Bone marrow biopsy criteria were used to define response in addition to clinical and peripheral blood responses. All patients have been followed for 10 years. The median survival was 259 weeks. No patient remains in remission. No impact of response on survival was found. Surprisingly, the response rate and survival were higher and longer for patients with more advanced stages and higher tumor burdens. The median survival times for patients with Rai stage IV and Binet stage C disease were 93 months and 81 months, respectively. Although the regimen was well tolerated, three patients, each with an antecedent cardiac risk factor, developed congestive heart failure. Adriamycin containing regimens can be safely given to elderly patients with CLL and show promise in the treatment of advanced stage disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research