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Nation-wide randomized comparative study of doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisolone combination therapy with and without L-asparaginase for adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia

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A randomized clinical trial of combination chemotherapy for adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) with doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisolone with and withoutL-asparaginase (AdVP vs L-AdVP) was conducted, involving 58 institutions throughout Japan. After reaching complete remission (CR), patients were treated with the same regimen for more than 2 years. Among 166 evaluable cases of the 198 cases enrolled, CR rates were 63.1% (53/84) with AdVP and 64.6% (53/82) with L-AdVP (P=0.837). Median survival times and 7-year survival rates were 12.7 months and 21.2% with AdVP, and 16.0 months and 22.3% with L-AdVP (P=0.955 by generalized Wilcoxon test [GW],P=0.952 by log-rank test [LR]). Median diseasefree survival times and 7-year survival rates were 13.5 months and 23.8% with AdVP and 17.0 months and 30.6% with L-AdVP, showing some increments for L-AdVP but no statistical significance (P=0.141 by GW,P=0.300 by LR). Among the cases of extramurally confirmed FAB subtypes, CR rates were 75.9% (63/83) for the L1 subtype and 51.3% (39/76) for the L2 subtype (P=0.001). As to adverse effects, pancreatitis was complicated more frequently in L-AdVP than in AdVP (P=0.039). Other side effects such as hyperbilirubinemia, diabetes mellitus, diarrhea and hypofibrinogenemia were observed more frequently with L-AdVP, but with no statistical significance. Thus, addition of a single course of L-asparaginase in the induction phase of combination chemotherapy with doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisolone did not significantly enhance the effect of antileukemic treatment of adult ALL.

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Correspondence to Eiichi Nagura.

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This work was supported by a grant-in-aid from the Japanese Foundation for Multidisciplinary Treatment of Cancer (Co-operative Project no. 2)

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Nagura, E., Kimura, K., Yamada, K. et al. Nation-wide randomized comparative study of doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisolone combination therapy with and without L-asparaginase for adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Cancer Chemother. Pharmacol. 33, 359–365 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00686263

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  • Pancreatitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Doxorubicin
  • Survival Time
  • Prednisolone