Busulflex has been approved for use in combination with cyclophosphamide as a conditioning regimen prior to allogeneic hematopoietic progenitor cell transplantation for chronic myelogenous leukemia.
The prospective trial was a single-arm, open-label study in 61 patients who received BUSULFEX as part of a conditioning regimen for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The study included patients with acute leukemia past first remission (first or subsequent relapse), with high-risk first remission, or with induction failure; chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) in chronic phase, accelerated phase, or blast crisis; primary refractory or resistant relapsed Hodgkin’s disease or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; and myelodysplastic syndrome. Forty-eight percent of patients (29/61) were heavily pretreated, defined as having at least one of the following: prior radiation, > 3 prior chemotherapeutic regimens, or prior hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Seventy-five percent of patients (46/61) were transplanted with active disease.
Patients received 16 BUSULFEX doses of 0.8 mg/kg every 6 hours as a two-hour infusion for 4 days, followed by cyclophosphamide 60 mg/kg once per day for two days (BuCy2 regimen). All patients received 100% of their scheduled BUSULFEX regimen. No dose adjustments were made. After one rest day, allogeneic hematopoietic progenitor cells were infused. The efficacy parameters in this study were myeloablation (defined as one or more of the following: absolute neutrophil count [ANC] less than 0.5x10 9/L, absolute lymphocyte count [ALC] less than 0.1x10 9/L, thrombocytopenia defined as a platelet count less than 20,000/mm 3 or a platelet transfusion requirement) and engraftment (ANC³0.5x10 9/L).
All patients (61/61) experienced myeloablation. The median time to neutropenia was 4 days. All evaluable patients (60/60) engrafted at a median of 13 days post-transplant (range 9 to 29 days); one patient was considered non-evaluable because he died of a fungal pneumonia 20 days after BMT and before engraftment occurred. All but 13 of the patients were treated with prophylactic G-CSF. Evidence of donor cell engraftment and chimerism was documented in all patients who had a chromosomal sex marker or leukemic marker (43/43), and no patient with chimeric evidence of allogeneic engraftment suffered a later loss of the allogeneic graft. There were no reports of graft failure in the overall study population. The median number of platelet transfusions per patient was 6, and the median number of red blood cell transfusions per patient was 4. Twenty-three patients (38%) relapsed at a median of 183 days post-transplant (range 36 to 406 days). Sixty-two percent of patients (38/61) were free from disease with a median follow-up of 269 days post-transplant (range 20 to 583 days). Forty-three patients (70%) were alive with a median follow up of 288 days post-transplant (range 51 to 583 days). There were two deaths before BMT Day +28 and six additional patients died by BMT Day +100. Ten patients (16%) died after BMT Day +100, at a median of 199 days post-transplant (range 113 to 275 days).
Treatment with BUSULFEX at the recommended dose and schedule will result in profound myelosuppression in 100% of patients, including granulocytopenia, thrombocytopenia, anemia, or a combined loss of formed elements of the blood.
Busulfan is a bifunctional alkylating agent in which two labile methanesulfonate groups are attached to opposite ends of a four carbon alkyl chain. In aqueous media, busulfan hydrolyzes to release the methanesulfonate groups. This produces reactive carbonium ions that can alkylate DNA. DNA damage is thought to be responsible for much of the cytotoxicity of busulfan.