Fludarabine phosphate for the treatment of low grade lymphoid malignancy.
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Thirty-four patients with previously treated, advanced, low grade NHL were treated with Fludarabine, a deamination-resistant analogue of adenosine arabinoside, at a dose of 25 mg m-2 intravenously, daily for 5 days (median number of cycles = 3, range 1-10). Complete remission (CR) was achieved in six and partial remission (PR) in a further seven. Overall, responses were seen in 11/23 patients (48%) with follicular lymphoma and in 2/11 (18%) with low grade, diffuse NHL. Fifteen patients with previously treated CLL and one patient with prolymphocytic leukaemia (PLL) were also treated as above (median no. of cycles = 3, range 1-6). A partial response was seen in three of the 11 evaluable patients with CLL and CR was achieved in the patient with PLL. There were four deaths due to infection and 19 further episodes requiring admission to hospital. No other significant toxicity was reported in a total of 164 cycles of Fludarabine. This agent is active in advanced low grade lymphoid malignancy. Further studies are required to assess its role in newly diagnosed patients.
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