What is the efficacy of maintenance chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)?

Updated: Jul 17, 2018
  • Author: Karen Seiter, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

The effectiveness of maintenance chemotherapy in adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has not been studied in a controlled clinical trial. However, several phase II studies without maintenance therapy have shown inferior results compared with historical controls.

A Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) study of daunorubicin or mitoxantrone, vincristine, prednisone, and methotrexate induction followed by four intensifications and no maintenance was closed early because the median remission duration was shorter than in previous studies. [33] A Dutch study using intensive postremission chemotherapy, three courses of high-dose Ara-C in combination with amsacrine (course 1), mitoxantrone (course 2), and etoposide (course 3), without maintenance, also yielded inferior results. [34]


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