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Keywords:

  • myeloblastic leukemia;
  • promyeloblastic leukemia;
  • drug resistance;
  • cumulative dose

Abstract

While the efficacy of daunorubicin (DNR) in first induction of patients with acute nonlymphoblastic leukemia (ANLL) has been well documented, little data are available concerning the activity of DNR in patients with relapsed and refractory ANLL previously treated with anthracycline. We administered DNR (60 mg/m2/day for 3-5 days) in 21 patients with relapsed (n=12) or refractory (n=9) ANLL previously treated with anthracycline. The general response rate was 48%, with a complete response (CR) rate of 38%. Five of 12 patients with relapsed ANLL and 3 of 9 patients with refractory ANLL achieved CR. Among these cases with CR in refractory ANLL, the evolution of one patient is particularly illustrative since he had received previously a large cumulative dose of anthracycline (540 mg/m2) and has been shown to be refractory to high-dose cytosine arabinoside. This study suggests that previous administration of DNR or adriamycin does not Induce significant resistance to anthracycline: DNR appears to be almost as efficient in patients with relapsed and refractory ANLL previously treated with anthracycline as in first induction.