Purpose: Fludarabine (2-fluoro-arabanoside-monophosphate) is a new antimetabolite chemotherapeutic agent. We performed a multicenter, phase II study of this drug in previously treated patients with refractory or relapsed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) to determine its response rate by histologic classification. Patients and Methods: Sixty-two assessable patients were given 18 mg/m2 by intravenous (IV) bolus injection daily for 5 days, every 28 days. Forty-eight percent had previously had one chemotherapy regimen, and the remainder had had two regimens; 42% had had radiation. Results: Patients received 273 cycles of fludarabine chemotherapy, with a median of two cycles and ranging up to 25 cycles. Sixty patients were assessable for response, including nine complete responses (CRs; 15%) and nine partial responses (PRs; 15%). The response rate for patients with lower-grade histology was 52% (13 of 25); the greatest response rate was seen in those with follicular small cleaved-cell lymphoma, including seven of 11 treated. Five responders remain in unmaintained remission; the median survival of responders is greater than 30 months. Toxicity included mild neutropenia and a 10% incidence of grade 3 neurologic toxicity with occasional reversible visual and auditory changes. Conclusion: Fludarabine is active in patients with previously treated NHL (particularly low-grade histologies). Future studies will examine its activity in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents in previously untreated patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research