Phase II Study of The Modified Hyper-CVAD Program for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
The modified hyper-CVAD regimen is a combination of chemotherapy drugs including
cyclophosphamide, vincristine, Adriamycin, dexamethasone and pegylated asparaginase given
together for one "course" of treatment. This alternates with a course or combination of the
chemotherapy drugs methotrexate, cytarabine (ara-C), and pegylated asparaginase. Rituximab
is a protein (monoclonal antibody) that attaches to the surface of the leukemia or lymphoma
cells, which have a marker, called "CD20".
Before treatment starts, participants will have a complete physical exam, including blood
(about 8 teaspoons) tests. A chest X-ray may be taken. CT scans may be taken if needed. A
bone marrow sample will be taken through a large needle in the hipbone. Women able to have
children must have a negative blood pregnancy test. An ECG (tracing of the heart) and a
cardiac scan or echocardiogram may be taken to check the heart function.
Participants will receive these 2 kinds of intensive chemotherapy courses for a total of 8
courses as long as they are able to tolerate them. Chemotherapy courses will be given
through a large vein by a central venous catheter (a plastic tube usually placed under the
collarbone) or a long-line catheter (a plastic tube usually placed in the upper arm).
During treatment, participants will have a physical exam and undergo blood tests (about 1
tablespoon each) at least twice a week. After the first course of chemotherapy, the tests
done before treatment will be repeated to check for response. In patients with acute
lymphoblastic leukemia or lymphoblastic lymphoma with marrow disease, a bone marrow sample
will be repeated about 2 and 3 weeks from the beginning of treatment to check the response.
Course 1 (odd courses) will start by giving rituximab by vein over 6 hours on Day 1 and Day
11 for patients whose leukemia or lymphoma expresses CD20. Participants will receive the
drugs acetaminophen (Tylenol) and diphenhydramine hydrochloride (Benadryl) 30-60 minutes
before each dose of rituximab. This will be done to lessen the risk of fever, chills, and
allergic reactions. Usually, the first dose of rituximab requires about 6 to 8 hours to
complete. If side effects do occur during the infusion, participants will be observed for
an additional 2 hours after the rituximab is given. Then, the cyclophosphamide will be
given as described below.
Other participants who do not have the CD20 marker will start Course 1 with cyclophosphamide
given by vein over 2-3 hours every 12 hours. This will be given for 6 doses over 3 days
(Days 1,2, and 3). Pegylated asparaginase will be given by vein over 30 minutes on Day 1.
Adriamycin will be given by vein over 24 hours on Day 4. Vincristine will be given by vein
over 15 to 30 minutes on Days 1 and 11. Dexamethasone (a steroid) will be given by mouth or
by vein on Days 1 to 4 and 11 to 14.
Pegfilgrastim (a growth colony stimulating factor) will be given after each course of
chemotherapy is finished. It is given to help with rapid recovery of the white blood cells
in the normal marrow. Pegfilgrastim will be injected under the skin within 72 hours of
completion of each cycle of chemotherapy. Filgrastim, a shorter active form of pegfilgrastim
may be used instead or added later if needed.
Treatment to protect the brain will be given inside the spinal using lumbar punctures
(spinal taps) with chemotherapy, including methotrexate around day 2 and cytarabine (ara-C)
about day 7 of the course. This is done to decrease the risk that the leukemia or lymphoma
will develop there. If there is leukemia or lymphoma in the spinal fluid at the time of the
first spinal tap, then the treatments will be given more frequently.
For patients aged 60 years or older, this first course of chemotherapy will be given in a
protective isolation room to decrease the risk of infection(s).
During Course 2, participants whose leukemia expresses CD20 will receive rituximab by
infusion over 4 hours on Days 1 and 8. Other participants who do not have CD20 on the
leukemia cells will start with methotrexate by vein over 24 hours on Day 1. Cytarabine
(ara-C) will be given by vein over 2 hours every 12 hours for 4 doses (Days 2 and 3).
Vincristine will be given by vein over 15 to 30 minutes on Days 1 and 8. Pegylated
asparaginase will be given by vein over 30 minutes on Day 4 or 5 after the methotrexate has
cleared (as checked by blood tests).
Citrovorum factor (leucovorin), an antidote for side effects of methotrexate, will be given
by vein or by mouth for 2-3 days (Day 2 and on). Pegfilgrastim will be given as in Course 1
(24-72 hours after the chemotherapy is finished). The treatment to protect the brain inside
the spinal fluid will be given as in Course 1 on Days 2 and 7.
The rest of the chemotherapy will switch between hyper-CVAD and pegylated asparaginase
(Courses 3, 5, and 7) and methotrexate,cytarabine (ara-C), vincristine, and pegylated
asparaginase (Courses 4, 6, and 8) to complete a total of 8 courses. Participants whose
leukemia expresses CD20 will receive a total of 12 doses (2 per each of the first four
courses, then one with the last four courses) of rituximab.
After the 8 courses, patients with lymphoblastic lymphoma who had enlarged lymph glands in
the mediastinum may receive radiation to the chest. Those participants not needing
radiation will proceed to monthly maintenance chemotherapy. This includes daily
6-mercaptopurine taken by mouth, weekly methotrexate by vein or mouth, monthly vincristine
by vein, and dexamethasone by mouth for 5 days every month. Participants with lymphoblastic
lymphoma will start maintenance chemotherapy after finishing radiation.
Maintenance chemotherapy will be given for a total of 30 months, and will be interrupted by
2 periods of intensive chemotherapy courses. The first will be at six months into the
maintenance program starting first with hyper-CVAD (like Course 1) except without pegylated
asparaginase). The following months, participants will receive methotrexate by vein on Day
1, vincristine by vein on Day 1, and pegylated asparaginase by vein on Day 2. Participants
will receive this sequence of 2 chemotherapy courses again 18 months into the maintenance
program. Participants with the CD20 marker will receive rituximab during the maintenance
chemotherapy (with the vincristine during months 1, 3, 6, 7, 10, 13, 18 & 19).
After one or two courses of therapy, the response to the treatment will be evaluated. If
the leukemia or lymphoma is responding, the therapy will be continued. Participants will be
taken off study if the leukemia or lymphoma starts to get worse.
After completion of treatment, participants will have a complete physical exam, including
blood tests (about 8 teaspoons). If needed, a chest X-ray or CT scan will be done. A bone
marrow sample will be taken through a large needle. Patients will then return every 3 to 6
months for a checkup, including blood tests and bone marrow aspiration. X-rays may be
repeated if needed.
An Ommaya reservoir may also be placed surgically as a route to treat leukemia in the brain
or to decrease the risk of leukemia in patients who have difficulty with the spinal
treatments. An Ommaya reservoir is a tube inserted under the skin of the scalp that enters
into the spinal fluid cavity of the brain.
Treatment will be given on an inpatient basis for the 8 intensive cycles of chemotherapy, or
as indicated by the clinical condition. The maintenance treatments will be given as an
outpatient but may be given as an inpatient if needed.
This is an investigational study. All of the drugs are commercially available. Their use
together in this study is investigational. About 280 patients will take part in this study.
All will be enrolled at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment
Overall Response Rate
After the first course of chemotherapy, a chest X-ray may be taken. CT scans may be taken if needed. A bone marrow sample will be taken through a large needle in the hipbone to check for response.
After first course of chemotherapy - 21 days.
Susan O'Brien, M.D.
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
United States: Institutional Review Board
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