Although novel therapies for chronic lymphocytic leukemia have resulted in higher hematologic response rates, the complete eradication of disease rarely occurs. Alemtuzumab (Campath-1H) seems to be extremely effective in this role in pretreated patients. The authors used a molecular semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method to assess the ability of alemtuzumab to induce PCR negativity in eight patients pretreated with fludarabine. IgH rearrangement was coamplified with a housekeeping gene and fluorescent PCR products were analyzed on a DNA automatic sequencer. Each patient was evaluated at diagnosis, after fludarabine, and after Campath-1H. The median interval between the last therapy course with fludarabine and the start of Campath-1H was 14 weeks. Patients received subcutaneous doses up to 10 mg, three times a week, for 12 weeks, with a median dose of 190 mg. After six cycles with fludarabine, only one patient (12.5%) achieved molecular remission, and in three other patients IgH levels decreased by 0.5 to 1 log. At the beginning of Campath-1H administration, all patients were PCR positive, including the one previously found to be negative. At the end of treatment, five patients achieved molecular remission (62.5%), four of them within 1 month after the end of therapy. Seventy-two percent of responses, with 43% of complete responses, were documented on bone marrow smears. A significant reduction of lymph node and spleen diameters was noted in 50% and 33% of patients, respectively. Four patients showed grade 2 skin reaction at the site of the subcutaneous injection and grade 1 or 2 fever. Two patients developed neutropenia (grade 2 and 3) and two hemolytic episodes. Three patients showed cytomegalovirus and one herpes zoster and Epstein-Barr virus reactivation. These results show that Campath-1H represents an efficacious in vivo purging tool with a safe profile.
|Autori:||Galimberti S; Cervetti G; Cecconi N; Fazzi R; Pacini S; Guerrini F; Manetti C; Caracciolo F; Petrini M.|
|Titolo:||Quantitative molecular evaluation of minimal residual disease in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia: efficacy of in vivo purging by alemtuzumab (Campath-1H).|
|Anno del prodotto:||2004|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|