Fludarabine, Cyclophosphamide, and Rituximab in Salvage Therapy of Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia

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The combination FCR (fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab) proved to be active in Waldenström's macroglobulinemia in a mixed population of untreated and previously treated patients. Prolonged myelosuppression and concerns about purine analogue treatment led to the conclusion that this regimen should be avoided in younger patients in first-line treatment. In this retrospective study on 40 patients we observed a response rate of 80% (32) after FCR salvage treatment with 32.5% (13) of patients reaching at least a very good partial remission. None of the prognostic variables had a significant effect on response or good quality of response achievement. Median event-free survival was reached at 77 months; median progression-free survival was not reached after a median follow-up of 51 months with any difference when categorizing patients according to quality of response. The results of this study suggest that the FCR regimen might overcome poor prognostic features and should be taken into account as salvage treatment. Tardive immunosuppression and myelosuppression warrant accurate patient follow-up.

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