Experience with vincristine, doxorubicin, and dexamethasone (VAD) chemotherapy in adults with refractory acute lymphocytic leukemia

Hagop M. Kantarjian, Ronald S. Walters, Michael J. Keating, Bart Barlogie, Kenneth B. McCredie, Emil J. Freireich

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26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sixty‐four adult patients with refractory acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) received salvage therapy with the vincristine, doxorubicin (Adriamycin, Adria Laboratories, Columbus, OH), and dexamethasone (VAD) regimen consisting of induction chemotherapy with the three agents followed by multiple‐agent maintenance therapy for 2 years. Overall, 25 patients (39%) achieved complete remission. The median remission duration was 28 weeks with 20% of these patients remaining disease‐free at 2 years. The median overall survival was 23 weeks. Prognostic factors associated with differences in remission rates included patient performance status, hemoglobin and platelet levels, and degree of peripheral and marrow blastosis. Factors related to differences in survival were patient age and performance status, hemoglobin and platelet levels, percentage of peripheral blasts, and albumin and bilirubin levels. The toxicity of the regimen was minimal, with 33% of patients requiring hospitalization because of febrile episodes of unknown origin (17%) or documented infections (16%). Therapy‐related mortality occurred in four patients (6%). We conclude that the VAD program has significant antileukemic efficacy and acceptable toxicity in adult salvage ALL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-22
Number of pages7
JournalCancer
Volume64
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 1989
Externally publishedYes

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