The treatment of refractory acute nonlymphocytic leukemia remains a major clinical problem in leukemia therapy. VP 16–213 is an investigational agent that may have specificity for monocytic blasts, and the combination of VP 16–213 and cyclophosphamide is synergistic in experimental leukemia. Seven patients with highly refractory acute nonlymphocytic leukemia, which demonstrated monocytic features, were treated with a combination of VP 16–213 and cyclophosphamide after they had failed to respond to multiple courses of intensive induction regimens. Three complete remissions and one partial remission were achieved. The times to complete remission were 21, 23, and 34 days. The durations of complete remission were 5, 9, and 12+ months. Myelo‐suppression was the most common side effect; one patient experienced nausea and stomatitis. There were no documented infections or hemorrhage, and no one died as a result of therapy. This combination is both well tolerated and effective in the treatment of refractory leukemia with monocytic features.
- VP 16–213
- acute monocytic leukemia
- acute myelomonocytic leukemia
- refractory leukemia