In patients with relapsed ALL, minimal residual disease (MRD) identified prior to allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is a strong predictor of relapse. We report our experience using a combination of reduced-dosing clofarabine, CY and etoposide as a 'bridge' to HCT in eight patients with high risk or relapsed ALL and pre-HCT MRD. All patients had detectable MRD (>0.01%, flow cytometry) at the start of therapy with all eight achieving MRD reduction following one cycle. The regimen was well tolerated with seven grade 3/4 toxicities occurring among four of the eight patients. Five patients (62.5%) are alive, one died from relapse (12.5%) and two from transplant-related mortality (25%). The combination of reduced-dose clofarabine, CY and etoposide as bridging therapy appears to be well tolerated in patients with relapsed ALL and is effective in reducing pre-HCT MRD.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Children’s Cancer Research Fund (MJB, MRV) and the University of Minnesota Pediatric Leukemia Program supported this work.