The FOSSIL Study: FLAG or standard 7+3 induction therapy in secondary acute myeloid leukemia

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Leukemia research


Patients with secondary acute myeloid leukemia (sAML) have poor outcomes, with CR/CRi rates of 25-35% with standard 7 + 3 induction chemotherapy, while single center non-comparative analyses suggest promising outcomes with FLAG. We conducted a single-center, retrospective cohort study assessing outcomes in treatment-naïve patients with sAML treated with fludarabine, high-dose cytarabine, and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (FLAG, n = 40) compared with 7 + 3 (n = 66). Median patient age was 63 years (range: 27-82) in the FLAG group and 60 years (range: 21-76) in the 7 + 3 group (P = 0.968). Patients treated with FLAG achieved higher overall response rates (CR + CRi + MLFS) compared to 7 + 3 (70% vs. 48%, P = 0.043). FLAG was well tolerated, with only one induction death (30-day mortality rate, 3% vs. 8%, P = 0.405) and no cases of cerebellar toxicity. Duration of neutropenia was significantly shorter with FLAG (median 16 vs. 23 days, P < 0.001). Half of the FLAG-treated patients proceeded to consolidative therapy compared with only 27% of those who received 7 + 3 (P = 0.022). Overall survival was comparable between groups (8.5 mos, FLAG vs. 9.1 mos, 7 + 3; P = 0.798). Thus, FLAG may represent a low-cost treatment strategy in sAML that produces higher response rates and promising survival outcomes with minimal treatment-related toxicity. Further studies are required to prospectively compare FLAG to the newly FDA-approved CPX-351 in sAML.

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Adult; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols; Biomarkers; Bone Marrow; Female; Humans; Induction Chemotherapy; Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute; Male; Middle Aged; Neoplasms, Second Primary; Prognosis; Retrospective Studies; Treatment Outcome

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