Rituximab-cyclophosphamide-dexamethasone combination in the management of autoimmune cytopenias associated with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
We report our experience on rituximab-cyclophosphamide-dexamethasone (RCD) combination therapy for the treatment of autoimmune disorders (AIDs) in 48 chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients. Overall, 81% of patients were relapsing for AID after previous treatment with corticosteroids, splenectomy, rituximab or alemtuzumab. Diagnosis of AID was autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) in 26 (54%), autoimmune thrombocytopenia (AITP) in 9 (18.8%), Evan's syndrome in 8 (16.7%) and pure red cell aplasia (PRCA) in 5 patients (10.5%). Median time of autoimmune disorder (AID) onset from CLL diagnosis was 60 months (range: 0-240), and CLL was considered progressive in 40% of subjects upon AID diagnosis (complex AID). Median hemoglobin pre-treatment was 7.7 g/100 ml, and median platelet count 36.5 × 10(9)/l, returning to a median of 12.5 /100ml and 37.5 × 10(9)/l, respectively. Overall, an 89.5% response rate was obtained with this combination, irrespective of the AID type. Relapse occurred in 19 patients (39.6%). Median duration of response for autoimmunity (DR-AI) was 24 months, but DR-AI was higher for patients presenting: (1) AID early during CLL course (
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