Background: Gemtuzumab is used to treat patients with previously untreated or recurrent acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). The fludarabine and cytarabine (ara-C) regimen is active in these patients. Resistance to gemtuzumab is associated with blast multidrug resistance (MDR). The objectives of this study were to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of a combination regimen of gemtuzumab, fludarabine, ara-C, and the MDR modifier (cyclosporine [CyA]) in patients with previously untreated AML, refractory anemia with excess blasts (RAEB), or RAEB in transformation (RAEBT).
Methods: The MFAC regimen was comprised of gemtuzumab (Mylotarg trade mark ) (6 mg/m(2) intravenously [i.v.] on Day 1); fludarabine and ara-C (15 mg/m(2) and 0.5 g/m(2), respectively, twice daily on Days 2-6); and CSA (6 mg/kg loading dose before gemtuzumab, followed by 16 mg/kg continuous i.v. infusion on Days 1 and 2).
Results: Fifty-nine evaluable patients were treated: 39 patients (66%) had AML and 20 patients (34%) had RAEB/RAEBT. Their median age was 57 years (range, 27-76 years). The MFAC regimen induced complete remission (CR) in 27 patients (46%) and CR with incomplete platelet recovery (CRp) in 1 patient (2%). The median survival period is 8 months. At 12 months, the survival rate is 38% and the event-free survival rate in patients with CR/CRp is 27%. Infections complicated 38% of the courses of chemotherapy. Grade 3/4 toxicity included hyperbilirubinemia in 31% and transaminitis in 7% of the patients. Four patients (7%) developed hepatic venoocclusive disease (VOD).
Conclusions: The MFAC regimen may merit further study in patients with AML if measures to avoid and/or treat VOD can be incorporated into the regimen.
Copyright 2003 American Cancer Society.DOI 10.1002/cncr.11239