Clofarabine, cytarabine, and mitoxantrone in refractory/relapsed acute myeloid leukemia: High response rates and effective bridge to allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
Clofarabine is active in refractory/relapsed acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In this phase 2 study, we treated 18- to 65-year-old AML patients refractory to first-line 3 + 7 daunorubicin/cytarabine induction or relapsing after 3 + 7 induction and high-dose cytarabine consolidation, with clofarabine (30 mg/m2 /d, Days 1-5), cytarabine (750 mg/m2 /d, Days 1-5), and mitoxantrone (12 mg/m2 /d, Days 3-5) (CLAM). Patients achieving remission received up to two consolidation cycles of 50% CLAM, with eligible cases bridged to allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). The mutational profile of a 69-gene panel was evaluated. Twenty-six men and 26 women at a median age of 46 (22-65) years were treated. The overall response rate after the first cycle of CLAM was 90.4% (complete remission, CR: 69.2%; CR with incomplete hematologic recovery, CRi: 21.2%). Twenty-two CR/CRi patients underwent allo-HSCT. The 2-year overall survival (OS), relapse-free survival (RFS), and event-free survival (EFS) were 65.8%, 45.7%, and 40.2%, respectively. Multivariate analyses showed that superior OS was associated with CR after CLAM (P = .005) and allo-HSCT (P = .005), and superior RFS and EFS were associated with allo-HSCT (P < .001). Remarkably, CR after CLAM and allo-HSCT resulted in 2-year OS of 84.3% and 90%, respectively. Karyotypic aberrations and genetic mutations did not influence responses or survivals. Grade 3/4 neutropenia/thrombocytopenia and grade 3 febrile neutropenia occurred in all cases. Other nonhematologic toxicities were mild and uncommon. There was no treatment-related mortality and the performance of allo-HSCT was not compromised. Clofarabine, cytarabine, and mitoxantrone was highly effective and safe in refractory/relapsed AML. This study was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02686593).