Seventeen adult patients with previously untreated acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) were entered into a schedule of chemotherapy in which 3 combinations, each of 4 drugs, were administered in a predetermined cyclical rotation in combination with cranial irradiation and intrathecal injections of methotrexate. Of the 17 patients, 16 completed induction therapy and 15 (94%) entered remission. The only patient with T-ALL died before receiving any therapy. The median survival for all patients (17) was 22 months. Meningeal leukaemia did not occur during the haematological remission phase although 3 patients developed this complication following relapse. The authors conclude that the addition of cyclophosphamide and cytosine arabinoside to vincristine/prednisone provides excellent remission induction but the aggressive maintenance schedule employed has not led to significant long-term survival.
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