Clinical and laboratory studies of 2-chlorodeoxyadenosine ± cytosine arabinoside for relapsed or refractory acute myelogenous leukemia in adults

S. M. Kornblau, V. Gandhi, H. M. Andreeff, M. Beran, H. M. Kantarjian, C. A. Koller, S. O'Brien, W. Plunkett, E. Estey

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Previous studies in pediatric patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) have suggested that 2-chlorodeoxyadenosine (2CdA) is an effective therapeutic agent. Santana et al. reported a CR rate of 8/17 (95% Cl 23-72%) in children with relapsed AML and a median first CR of 21 months. The activity of 2CdA in adults with relapsed or refractory leukemia was therefore investigated in a phase study. In the phase II study, based on biochemical modulation rationale, 2CdA was combined with Ara-C for adults with relapsed AML to test the effectiveness of this combination therapy. In the phase I study 27 patients (25 AML and two MDS) with a median first CR duration of 21 weeks, received 2CdA at doses ranging from 5 to 13 mg/m2/day by continuous infusion (Cl) for 7 days. In vitro and ex vivo pharmacologic studies performed to determine the effect of pretreatment with 2CdA on Ara-CTP accumulation in leukemic blasts demonstrated a 50-65% increase in the rate of Ara-CTP accumulation. Based on this biochemical modulation, 2CdA (12 mg/m2/day x 5 days by Cl) was combined with Ara-C (1 g/m2/day over 2 h) in a phase II study. Seventeen patients (15 AML, two MDS) with relapsed AML (median 1st CR of 19 weeks) were treated. In the phase I study two patients died before the day 14 marrow (ED). Marrow hypoplasia developed in 16 of the remaining 25. Leukemic regrowth occurred in nine after a median hypoplastic period of 2 weeks (range 1-3 weeks). The other seven patients died with aplastic marrows, median duration of hypoplasia was 2 weeks, range 1-4 weeks. None achieved CR and the median survival was 10.5 weeks. Toxicity generally was mild except for three late occurring cases of grade III or IV renal dysfunction and two cases of tumor lysis syndrome. The MTD was 10.8 mg/m2/day x 7 days. In the phase II study two patients, both with AML, achieved CR (95% Cl 1-33%). In both cases leukemia relapsed after 10 weeks and 17 weeks. There was one ED. Most (11/16) cleared their marrow although leukemic infiltrate regrew in six cases. Toxicity was generally mild, with two episodes of grade 2 Gl bleeding, one episode of severe renal dysfunction and one case of grade 2 CNS toxicity. We conclude that as a single agent 2CdA at the MTD is a cytoreductive agent but is not sufficient to achieve CR in adults with relapsed AML. While combination of Ara-C with 2CdA increases the Ara-CTP uptake in these heavily treated patients this regimen does not appear to be an improvement over existing modalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1563-1569
Number of pages7
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • 2CdA
  • Adults
  • Ara-C
  • Pharmacology
  • Relapsed AML


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