ABSTRACT In the HOVON68 trial comparing subcutaneous low-dose alemtuzumab (LD-A) used together with fludarabine (F) and cyclophosphamide (C) with FC alone in high-risk chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), LD-AFC resulted in significantly more clinical and molecular responses than FC, but also in more opportunistic infections. In a subgroup analysis of alemtuzumab trough levels during treatment by a sensitive ELISA method, detectable levels were found in 4/6 complete and 0/3 partial responders. A relationship between alemtuzumab plasma levels, response and duration of lymphocytopenia was evident. We hypothesize that following combination therapy, the response may not be a function of the alemtuzumab levels, but the opposite, that plasma alemtuzumab levels are a function of the efficacy of the entire treatment and the less leukemic target cells remaining, the higher the levels of plasma alemtuzumab. This concept may well provide a guide for alemtuzumab dosage in future trials.
Leukemia and Lymphoma, 2013, Vol 54, Issue 4, p. 790-93