A single cycle of 2-chlorodeoxyadenosine results in complete remission in the majority of patients with hairy cell leukemia

Martin S. Tallman*, David Hakimian, Daina Variakojis, Denise Koslow, Gale A. Sisney, Alfred W. Rademaker, Esther Rose, Karen Kaul

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


Twenty-six patients with hairy cell leukemia (HCL) were treated with 2-chlorodeoxyadenosine (2-CdA), a purine analogue resistant to adenosine deaminase, at 0.1 mg/kg/d for 7 days by continuous intravenous infusion. Fifteen patients were previously untreated, while 11 patients had received prior treatment with splenectomy alone (three patients), interferon alpha alone (four), splenectomy, then interferon alpha (two), or splenectomy, interferon alpha, then 2-deoxycoformycin (2-DCF) (two). Sixteen (80%) of 20 patients evaluable at 3 months achieved complete remission (CR), and four (20%) achieved partial remission (PR) following a single cycle of therapy. All four patients in PR had complete recovery of their peripheral blood counts (except one patient whose platelet count remained 84,000/μL), but had residual HCL in the bone marrow (three patients) or residual splenomegaly (one). Patients with bulky adenopathy, massive splenomegaly, and severe pancytopenia responded as well as those with only modest marrow involvement. The three patients with residual marrow disease received a second cycle of 2-CdA, and two have attained CR. Therefore, 18 of 20 (90%) achieved CR with either one or two cycles of therapy. No patient achieving CR has relapsed at a median follow-up of 12 (±2.1) months. Toxicities included myelosuppression and culture-negative fever. A community-acquired pneumonia was the only infectious complication. Since a single cycle of 2-CdA induces sustained CR in the vast majority of patients with minimal toxicity, this agent is emerging as the treatment of choice for all patients with HCL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2203-2209
Number of pages7
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Immunology


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