Indexed on: 20 Nov '04Published on: 20 Nov '04Published in: Annals of oncology : official journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology / ESMO
Treatment with interferon and subcutaneous cytarabine produces superior cytogenetic responses in chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) than treatment with interferon alone, but at the expense of greater toxicity. Cytarabine ocfosfate (YNK01) is an oral precursor of cytarabine that may overcome some of the inconvenience and toxicities associated with subcutaneous cytarabine administration.We studied the efficacy and tolerability of combination therapy with interferon-alpha-2b and YNK01 in patients with newly diagnosed, untreated CML. Forty patients were treated with interferon-alpha-2b (5 MU/m2/day) plus monthly courses of YNK01 (600 mg/day for 10 days) for 1 year.The 6-month complete haematological response rate was 63% and the 1-year major cytogenetic response rate was 30%, with 10% of cytogenetic responses being complete. With a median follow-up of 57 months, the estimated 5-year overall survival was 86% (95% confidence interval 70% to 94%). Treatment tolerability was poor, with toxicity leading to discontinuation of one or both drugs in 60% of cases. The median daily dose of interferon alpha-2b was 7.75 MU and the median dose of YNK01 was 600 mg/day for each 10-day treatment cycle.Interferon-alpha-2b and YNK01 produce cytogenetic responses comparable to those achieved with interferon-alpha-2b and parenteral cytarabine, although toxicity was excessive. Alternate dosing strategies may enhance the tolerability of YNK01.