Salvage therapy with nelarabine, etoposide, and cyclophosphamide in relapsed/refractory paediatric T-cell lymphoblastic leukaemia and lymphoma

Br J Haematol. 2010 Aug;150(3):345-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2010.08236.x. Epub 2010 May 26.


A combination of 5 d of nelarabine (AraG) with 5 d of etoposide (VP) and cyclophosphamide (CPM) and prophylactic intrathecal chemotherapy was used as salvage therapy in seven children with refractory or relapsed T-cell leukaemia or lymphoma. The most common side effects attributable to the AraG included Grade 2 and 3 sensory and motor neuropathy and musculoskeletal pain. Haematological toxicity was greater for the combination than AraG alone, although median time to neutrophil and platelet recovery was consistent with other salvage therapies. All patients had some response to the combined therapy and five of the seven went into complete remission after one or two courses of AraG/VP/CPM. Our experience supports the safety of giving AraG as salvage therapy in synchrony with etoposide and cyclophosphamide, although neurological toxicity must be closely monitored.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Arabinonucleosides / administration & dosage
  • Arabinonucleosides / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Cyclophosphamide / adverse effects
  • Etoposide / administration & dosage
  • Etoposide / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Hematologic Diseases / chemically induced
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nervous System Diseases / chemically induced
  • Precursor T-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / drug therapy*
  • Recurrence
  • Remission Induction / methods
  • Salvage Therapy / adverse effects
  • Salvage Therapy / methods
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Arabinonucleosides
  • nelarabine
  • Etoposide
  • Cyclophosphamide