Mitoxantrone and etoposide: An effective regimen for refractory or relapsed acute myelogenous leukemia

M. Lazzarino, E. Morra, E. P. Alessandrino, E. Orlandi, G. Pagnucco, S. Merante, P. Bernasconi, D. Inverardi, M. Bonfichi, C. Bernasconi

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23 adult patients with refractory or relapsed acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) received salvage chemotherapy with mitoxantrone and etoposide. The regimen consisted of mitoxantrone, 10 mg/m2/d by 30 -min infusion, and etoposide 100 mg/m2/d by 30-min infusion, given 12 h apart for 5 consecutive d. Of 23 patients treated, 13 met the criteria for highly refractory disease (6 primary resistant; 4 with early relapse during maintenance; 3 relapsed and refractory to reinduction). 10 patients had relapsed off-therapy more than 6 months after achieving first CR. Overall, 14 patients (61%) achieved a complete remission (CR): 6/13 (46%) with refractory AML, and 8/10 (80%) with relapsed AML. 2 patients had a partial remission, 2 died in aplasia, and 5 were nonresponders. In responding patients, the median time for recovery of granulocyte count was 27 d. The most important nonhematologic side effect was oral mucositis, which was severe in 35% of cases. No signs of cardiac toxicity were observed. The median CR duration was 5 months (range, 2 to 12+ months). The combination of mitoxantrone and etoposide appears a highly effective and relatively well tolerated salvage regimen for refractory and relapsed AML. Its incorporation into first-line induction and consolidation programs for newly diagnosed AML patients should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-416
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Haematology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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