Antibody-targeted chemotherapy is a promising approach in patients with hematological malignancies. In particular, gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO, formerly CMA-676), an anti-CD33 antibody linked to calicheamicin, has been approved for the treatment of elderly patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in relapse. Nevertheless, no data are until now available concerning the possible efficacy of GO for myeloid sarcomas (MS). We treated with GO 24 AML patients, in 5 cases presenting with myeloid sarcomas of the skin or bones. The overall complete response rate was 21%. The median duration of response was 6 months. Four out of the 5 patients with myeloid sarcoma showed a regression of the masses, in two cases also obtaining a clearance of marrow blasts. The most common adverse events included thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, infections, elevation of bilirubin and hepatic transaminases. Notably, severe bleeding occurred in 5 cases (21%). VOD was documented in 1 case. We conclude that GO is effective as a single agent in AML and myeloid sarcomas. Further data are required to clarify the possible correlation between GO administration and occurrence of bleeding.
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