Clinical trials in T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL) are scarce. Based on a precursor study testing fludarabine, mitoxantrone, and cyclophosphamide followed by alemtuzumab (FMC-A), we aimed to improve this regimen by upfront combining subcutaneous (s.c.) alemtuzumab with FMC for four cycles followed by an alemtuzumab-maintenance (FMCA + A). This prospective multicenter phase-II trial assessed response, survival, and toxicity of that regimen administered to pretreated (n = 4) and treatment-naïve (n = 12) T-PLL patients. The best overall response rate after FMCA was 68.8% (n = 11) including five CRs (31.3%) and six PRs (37.5%). Six patients entered the alemtuzumab-maintenance. Median overall and progression-free survival was 16.7 and 11.2 months, respectively. Hematologic toxicities were the most frequent grade 3/4 side effects. A reduced incidence of CMV-reactivations was attributed to the prophylactic administration of valganciclovir. Overall, FMCA + A did not improve the efficacy of the FMC-A-regimen or of single i.v. alemtuzumab. It suggests that a chemotherapy backbone prevents efficient alemtuzumab dosing and confirms that intravenous alemtuzumab is to be preferred over its s.c. route in T-PLL. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01186640.
Keywords: T-PLL; chemoimmunotherapy; T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia; alemtuzumab; child.