BACKGROUND: The prognosis for relapsing AML patients is disappointing and the preferred salvage chemotherapy is unclear. Among other regimens, cladribine, cytarabine, and idarubicin (CLA-Ida) is used.
METHODS: We analyzed relapsing AML patients receiving CLA-Ida chemotherapy between July 2012 and April 2015 at three academic centers in Switzerland.
RESULTS: Thirty-four patients underwent at least one cycle of CLA-Ida chemotherapy, with 6 patients having two cycles. Treatment-related mortality was 5.9% (2/34 patients). Eighteen patients (52.9%) achieved a complete remission (CR2), and 16 (47.1%) received subsequent allogeneic transplantation, with 8 (23.5%) of these patients remaining in complete remission after a median follow-up of 6 months. In contrast, all 16 patients not achieving CR2 died within 12 months after relapse due to progressive disease.
CONCLUSION: Our data suggest a promising rate of complete remission following CLA-Ida salvage treatment in relapsing AML patients enabling a substantial proportion of such patients to proceed to allogeneic transplantation.