Drugs

, Volume 49, Issue 6, pp 921–931 | Cite as

The Optimal Management of Hairy Cell Leukaemia

  • Russell Gollard
  • Thomas C. Lee
  • Lawrence D. Piro
  • Alan Saven
Practical Therapeutics

Summary

Hairy cell leukaemia is an uncommon B cell chronic lymphoproliferative disorder characterised by circulating lymphocytes displaying prominent cytoplasmic projections. Therapy is initiated for severe cytopenias or recurrent infections. Splenectomy, the first standard treatment, is now less commonly used as primary treatment. Interferon-α (IFNα) induces partial responses in most patients but complete responses in only a few. Adverse effects from IFNα are common but not life-threatening. The ability of two newer purine analogues, pentostatin (2′-deoxycoformycin) and cladribine (2-chlorodeoxyadenosine), to induce long-lasting complete remissions in the majority of patients has revolutionised the treatment of this disease. Cladribine is emerging as the treatment of choice because of its favourable toxicity profile, brief duration of treatment, high percentage of unmaintained complete remissions and low incidence of relapse.

Keywords

Fludarabine Cladribine Hairy Cell Leukemia Hairy Cell Pentostatin 

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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Russell Gollard
    • 1
  • Thomas C. Lee
    • 1
  • Lawrence D. Piro
    • 1
  • Alan Saven
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Hematology/Oncology, MS312, Ida M. and Cecil H. Green Cancer CenterScripps Clinic and Research FoundationLa JollaUSA

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