Chemo & Other Therapies

Chemotherapy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia

  • Daunorubicin and cytarabine
  • Daunorubicin, cytarabine and thioguanine
  • Cytarabine and idarubicin
  • Cytarabine and mitoxantrone
  • Cytarabine or methotrexate intrathecally for known
  • CNS infiltration

Other drugs

  • Etoposide
  • Amsacrine
  • Mitoxantrone
  • Idarubicin (new)
  • Homoharringtonine

Chemotherapy for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia

  • High-dose methotrexate or intrathecal methotrexate for CNS prophylaxis
  • The average length of treatment is between one and one-half and three years for ALL
  • Vincristine, prednisone, doxorubicin or daunorubicin
  • Vincristine, prednisone, asparaginase, daunorubicin
  • Vincristine, prednisone, asparaginase, doxorubicin
  • Vincristine, prednisone, doxorubicin, intrathecal methotrexate
  • Methotrexate, vincristine, asapraginase, dexamethasone
  • Vincristine, prednisone, anthracycline, with or without
  • asparaginase

Maintenance chemotherapy with combinations of the following:

  • 6 mercaptopurine
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Cyatarabine
  • Prednisone
  • Vincristine
  • Carmustine
  • Daunorubicin
  • Doxorubicin
  • Teniposide

Chemotherapy for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

  • Chlorambucil (oral) with or without prednisone
  • Cytoxan (oral) with or without prednisone
  • Fludarabine (under clinical evaluation for refractory CLL)
  • Combinations
  • COP (cytoxan, vincristine, prednisone)

Key words

  • Induction
    Administering chemotherapy to obtain remission
  • Nadir
    The lowest number of stem cells in the bone marrow; the point in chemotherapy administration when the patient is at greatest risk of developing infection; also called myelosuppression
  • Remission
    The clinical disappearance of leukemia, characterized by a normal peripheral blood count, less than 5% blasts in the bone marrow, no clinical signs or symptoms of leukemia, and no evidence of CNS or visceral infiltration by leukemia
  • Consolidation
    Administering high doses of chemotherapy for a short term to maintain remission
  • Maintenance
    Administering relatively low doses of chemotherapy for a long term to maintain remission


Prednisone in combination with alkylating agents

Biological Response Modifiers (under clinical evaluation)

  • Bone Marrow Transplantation (autologous = from the patient; allogeneic = from another patient); also called ABMT
  • Interleukin-2 (under clinical evaluation)
  • Colony stimulating factors (CSF) (under clinical evaluation)