ORLANDOPatients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) who have a
complete cytogenetic response (CCgR) to interferon-alfa have a long survival,
and low-risk patients have a projected 10-year survival of more than 80%,
Francesca Bonifazi, MD, reported at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the American
Society of Hematology (ASH abstract 1466).
Dr. Bonafazi, of Bologna University, Italy, presented data compiled in nine
European countries by the European Study Group on Interferon-alfa in CML.
This study included 317 patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive CML
who had a CCgR after treatment with interferon-alfa alone. The median time to
complete hematologic response was 2 to 7 months in the patients as a whole, and
the median time to first CCgR was 19 months (range, 3 to 84 months).
At last contact, 212 patients (68%) were still in first continuous CCgR. The
remaining 105 patients had lost CCgR, but 53% were still alive and in chronic
phase. Ten-year survival from first CCgR was 72% for the group as a whole and
was much higher for low-risk patients (89% for Sokal’s low risk and 81% for
the IFN score low risk), Dr. Bonifazi said.
Interferon-alfa was discontinued in 23 patients for response loss, in 36 for
chronic toxicity, and in 8 because they were in stable CCgR for more than 5
years. Dr. Bonifazi reported that 15 of the 36 cases discontinued for toxicity
and 7 of the 8 discontinued after response of more than 5 years were still in
unmaintained CCgR for 2 to 5 years after discontinuation of treatment.