The use of methotrexate, vincristine, L-asparaginase and dexamethasone for salvaging adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia and lymphoma: a real-life experience

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Funda Pepedil Tanrikulu
Nurhilal Buyukkurt
Mahmut Yeral
Pelin Aytan
Soner Solmaz
Asli Korur
Cigdem Gereklioglu
İlknur Kozanoglu
Can Boga
Hakan Ozdogu


Despite recent improvements in the treatment options, adult relapsed/refractory Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) and lymphoblastic lymphoma (LBL) exhibit poorer cure rates than in childhood. Since, the mainstay difference of childhood multidrug regimens is L-Asparaginase, we sought to salvage adult patients with a protocol containing methotrexate, vincristine, conventional L-asparaginase, and dexamethasone (MOAD). In this study, we aimed to summarize our experience.

Methods: Adult patients with relapsed/refractory ALL and LBL followed-up in our institution between 2017 and 2018 were reviewed and those treated with MOAD protocol were retrospectively included in the study. Clinical data, treatment responses, and adverse events were summarised. The protocol featured 28-day cycles of methotrexate 200 mg/m2 intravenously (IV) on days 1 and 15; vincristine 1.4 mg/m2 IV on days 1, 8, and 15; L-asparaginase 10,000 IU/m2 IV twice weekly; and dexamethasone 40 mg IV or orally on days 1–4 and 15–18.

Results: A total of eight patients were enrolled, of median age 37 years (range: 21–58 years). Four patients were recovered after transplantation. Complete remission was evident in 38%. Two such patients underwent allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation after the protocol. Another patient with lymphomatous disease achieved partial remission and underwent successful transplantation. L-asparaginase did not trigger any clinically evident hypersensitivity reaction; the most common adverse events associated with the protocol were hypofibrinogenemia, anemia, and febrile neutropenia.

Conclusions: The MOAD protocol was effective and tolerable, enabling to salvage before and after transplantation, particularly in patients with relapsed/refractory T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and lymphoblastic lymphoma.


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TanrikuluF. P., BuyukkurtN., YeralM., AytanP., SolmazS., KorurA., GerekliogluC., Kozanoglu İlknur, BogaC., & OzdoguH. (2019). The use of methotrexate, vincristine, L-asparaginase and dexamethasone for salvaging adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia and lymphoma: a real-life experience. Medical Science and Discovery, 6(10), 263-267.
Research Article


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