Treatment of Plasma Cell Leukemia With Vincristine, Liposomal Doxorubicin and Dexamethasone

Eur J Haematol. 2001 Jul;67(1):51-3. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0609.2001.067001051.x.


Primary plasma cell (PCL) leukemia is a rare lymphoproliferative disorder characterized by a malignant proliferation of plasma cells in the bone marrow and peripheral blood. Survival with standard therapy using melphalan is very poor. Doxorubicin encapsulated with liposomes has less cardiotoxicity, is at least as efficient and has fewer side effects than conventional doxorubicin. Two female patients (69 and 54 yr old) with primary PCL are described in this study. They both received a modified form of VAD (vincristine, doxorubicin and dexamethasone), a regimen which includes liposomal doxorubicin (40 mg/m2 for 1 d), vincristine (2 mg for 1 d) and dexamethasone 40 mg per os on days 1-4, 9-12 and 17-20. A disease evaluation of the first patient after six courses of the modified \VAD regimen showed no plasma cells in the peripheral blood, a decrease in the serum M protein level and a plasma cell infiltration in the bone marrow of less than 5%. The patient died from a cardiac episode 24 months post-diagnosis, while she was in complete hematological remission. The second patient also exhibited good tolerance to liposomal doxorubicin with no side effects, achieved complete haematological remission and remains in good condition 7 months after the last VAD administration. These results suggest that this modified form of VAD regimen also seems to work in PCL and is well tolerated with no side effects.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Cardiomyopathies / chemically induced
  • Cardiomyopathies / prevention & control
  • Dexamethasone / administration & dosage
  • Dexamethasone / adverse effects
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Doxorubicin / adverse effects
  • Drug Carriers
  • Drug Evaluation
  • Electrocardiography
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Plasma Cell / blood
  • Leukemia, Plasma Cell / drug therapy*
  • Liposomes
  • Middle Aged
  • Remission Induction
  • Safety
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vincristine / administration & dosage
  • Vincristine / adverse effects


  • Drug Carriers
  • Liposomes
  • Vincristine
  • Dexamethasone
  • Doxorubicin

Supplementary concepts

  • VAD protocol