Hematology (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Treatment of hairy cell leukemia: long-term results in a developing country.

PMID 22664112


Twenty-nine consecutive patients with hairy cell leukemia (HCL) were treated in two institutions with interferon (IFN, n = 18) or cladribine (n = 11), between July 1987 and May 2011. Median age was 62 (range 29-83) years; there were 21 males and 8 females. Seven of the 18 patients in the IFN group (39%) achieved a complete remission (CR), whereas all the patients in the 2-CDA group entered a CR. Three patients in the 2-CDA group relapsed and needed an additional course of the drug, 2, 3 and 6 years after the initial one. The median overall survival (OS) of the whole group has not been reached, being above 217 months, the 217-month OS being 91%. The survival of patients treated with either IFN or 2-CDA was not statistically different (94% OS at 217 months versus 91% OS at 133 months, respectively). The data that we present here suggest that treatment of HCL with either 2-CDA or IFN is equally effective; treatment costs with IFN are substantially lower than those of the purine analog.