Custom Search


Saturday 01 October 2005

Excellent response of chemotherapy-resistant B-cell-type chronic lymphocytic leukemia with meningeal involvement to rituximab.

By: Watanabe N, Takahashi T, Sugimoto N, Tanaka Y, Kurata M, Matsushita A, Maeda A, Nagai K, Nasu K.

Int J Clin Oncol 2005 Oct;10(5):357-61

A 70-year-old woman was diagnosed with B-cell-type chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) in May 2001. Initial white blood cell (WBC) count was 37 x 10(9)/l and most of the cells were mature small lymphocytes. Surface antigen analysis of these lymphocytes revealed positive reactions for CD19, 20, 25, 5, and lambda-light chain. Despite her Rai stage-0 status, various treatments were ineffective, including cyclophosphamide; fludarabine; 6-mercaptopurine; a combination of vincristine, cyclophosphamide, prednisolone, and adriamycin; and etoposide. Her WBC count increased, ranging from 150 to 450 x 10(9)/l, with marked splenomegaly, and symptoms of meningitis, such as headache, ophthalmalgia, hearing disturbance, and abnormal behavior, being manifested. The WBC count in the cerebrospinal fluid was elevated to 134/microl. The surface phenotype of these cells was identical to that of circulating lymphocytes, indicating meningeal involvement of leukemia, a rare complication in B-CLL. At the time of this WBC elevation, 24% of circulating lymphocytes had prominent nucleoli, indicating progression of the disease to CLL/prolymphocytic leukemia. Her symptoms disappeared after repeated intrathecal injections of methotrexate and dexamethazone. After four courses of treatment of the refractory B-CLL with rituximab, an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, the WBC count returned to normal levels and the splenomegaly disappeared. She is currently well, with sustained remission, as of April 2004.

Use of this site is subject to the following terms of use