FLAG (chemotherapy)

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FLAG is an acronym for a chemotherapy regimen used for relapsed and refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML).[1] The standard FLAG regimen consists of:

  1. Fludarabine: an antimetabolite that is not active toward AML, but increases formation of an active cytarabine metabolite, ara-CTP, in AML cells;
  2. High-dose cytarabine (Arabinofuranosyl cytidine, or ara-C): an antimetabolite that has been proven to be the most active toward AML among various cytotoxic drugs in single-drug trials;
  3. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF): a glycoprotein that shortens the duration and severity of neutropenia.

FLAG and FLAG-based regimens can also be used in cases of concomitant AML and either acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) or lymphoma. Because fludarabine is highly active in lymphoid malignancies, these regimens can further be used when patients have biphenotypic AML, in which cells display properties of both myeloid and lymphoid cells.

Intensified FLAG regimens[edit]

There are several intensified versions of the FLAG regimen in which a third chemotherapeutic agent is added.

FLAG-IDA[edit]

In the FLAG-IDA regimen (also called FLAG-Ida, IDA-FLAG, or Ida-FLAG), idarubicin—an anthracycline antibiotic that is able to intercalate DNA and prevent cell division (mitosis)[2][3][4]—is added to the standard FLAG regimen.

MITO-FLAG[edit]

MITO-FLAG (also called Mito-FLAG, FLAG-MITO, or FLAG-Mito) adds mitoxantrone to the standard regimen. Mitoxantrone is a synthetic anthracycline analogue (an anthracenedione) that, like idarubicin, can intercalate DNA and prevent cell division.[5][6]

FLAMSA[edit]

FLAMSA adds amsacrine ("AMSA") to the standard FLAG regimen. (G-CSF is still included, even though the "G" is taken out of the acronym.) Amsacrine is an alkylating antineoplastic agent that is highly active toward AML, unlike more conventional alkylators like cyclophosphamide.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13]

The FLAMSA protocol is most often used as an induction part of a reduced-intensity conditioning regimen for patients eligible to undergo an allogeneic stem cell transplant. In this setting, it is often combined with other agents, such as:

Dosing[edit]

Standard FLAG[edit]

Drug Dose Mode Days
(FL)udarabine 30 mg/m2 a day IV infusion over 30 min, every 12 hours in 2 divided doses Days 1–5
(A)ra-C 2000 mg/m2 IV infusion over 4 hours, every 12 hours in 2 divided doses, starting 4 hours after the end of fludarabine infusion Days 1–5
(G)-CSF 5 µg/kg SC From day 6 until neutrophil recovery

FLAG-IDA[edit]

Drug Dose Mode Days
(FL)udarabine 30 mg/m2 a day IV infusion over 30 min, every 12 hours in 2 divided doses Days 1–5
(A)ra-C 2000 mg/m2 a day IV infusion over 4 hours, every 12 hours in 2 divided doses, starting 4 hours after the end of fludarabine infusion Days 1–5
(IDA)rubicin 10 mg/m2 IV bolus Days 1–3
(G)-CSF 5 µg/kg SC From day 6 until neutrophil recovery

Mito-FLAG[edit]

Drug Dose Mode Days
(FL)udarabine 30 mg/m2 IV infusion over 30 min, every 12 hours in 2 divided doses Days 1–5
(A)ra-C 2000 mg/m2 IV infusion over 3 hours, every 12 hours in 2 divided doses, starting 4 hours after the end of fludarabine infusion Days 1–5
(Mito)xantrone 7 mg/m2 IV infusion Days 1, 3 and 5
(G)-CSF 5 µg/kg SC From day 6 until neutrophil recovery

FLAMSA[edit]

Drug Dose Mode Days
(FL)udarabine 30 mg/m2 IV infusion over 30 min, every 12 hours in 2 divided doses Days 1–4
(A)ra-C 2000 mg/m2 IV infusion over 4 hours, every 12 hours in 2 divided doses, starting 4 hours after the end of fludarabine infusion Days 1–4
(AMSA)crine 100 mg/m2 IV infusion Days 1–4
Filgrastim 5 µg/kg SC From transplant day (or Day 5 if FLAMSA is not a part of conditioning) until neutrophil recovery

References[edit]

  1. ^ Visani G, Tosi P, Zinzani PL, et al. (November 1994). "FLAG (fludarabine + high-dose cytarabine + G-CSF): an effective and tolerable protocol for the treatment of 'poor risk' acute myeloid leukemias". Leukemia. 8 (11): 1842–6. PMID 7526088. 
  2. ^ Pastore D, Specchia G, Carluccio P, et al. (April 2003). "FLAG-IDA in the treatment of refractory/relapsed acute myeloid leukemia: single-center experience". Annals of Hematology. 82 (4): 231–5. doi:10.1007/s00277-003-0624-2. PMID 12707726. 
  3. ^ Jackson GH (2004). "Use of fludarabine in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia". The Hematology Journal. 5 Suppl 1: S62–7. doi:10.1038/sj.thj.6200392. PMID 15079154. 
  4. ^ Specchia G, Pastore D, Carluccio P, et al. (November 2005). "FLAG-IDA in the treatment of refractory/relapsed adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia". Annals of Hematology. 84 (12): 792–5. doi:10.1007/s00277-005-1090-9. PMID 16047203. 
  5. ^ Luo S, Cai F, Jiang L, et al. (March 2013). "Clinical study of Mito-FLAG regimen in treatment of relapsed acute myeloid leukemia". Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine. 5 (3): 982–986. doi:10.3892/etm.2013.917. PMC 3570250Freely accessible. PMID 23407597. 
  6. ^ Hänel M, Friedrichsen K, Hänel A, et al. (August 2001). "Mito-flag as salvage therapy for relapsed and refractory acute myeloid leukemia". Onkologie. 24 (4): 356–60. doi:10.1159/000055107. PMID 11574763. 
  7. ^ Saure C, Schroeder T, Zohren F, et al. (March 2012). "Upfront allogeneic blood stem cell transplantation for patients with high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome or secondary acute myeloid leukemia using a FLAMSA-based high-dose sequential conditioning regimen". Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation. 18 (3): 466–72. doi:10.1016/j.bbmt.2011.09.006. PMID 21963618. 
  8. ^ Chemnitz JM, von Lilienfeld-Toal M, Holtick U, et al. (January 2012). "Intermediate intensity conditioning regimen containing FLAMSA, treosulfan, cyclophosphamide, and ATG for allogeneic stem cell transplantation in elderly patients with relapsed or high-risk acute myeloid leukemia". Annals of Hematology. 91 (1): 47–55. doi:10.1007/s00277-011-1253-9. PMID 21584670. 
  9. ^ Krejci M, Doubek M, Dusek J, et al. (October 2013). "Combination of fludarabine, amsacrine, and cytarabine followed by reduced-intensity conditioning and allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in patients with high-risk acute myeloid leukemia". Annals of Hematology. 92 (10): 1397–403. doi:10.1007/s00277-013-1790-5. PMID 23728608. 
  10. ^ Boehm A, Rabitsch W, Locker GJ, et al. (June 2011). "Successful allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for acute myeloid leukemia during respiratory failure and invasive mechanical ventilation". Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift. 123 (11–12): 354–8. doi:10.1007/s00508-011-1590-7. PMID 21633813. 
  11. ^ Schmid C, Schleuning M, Tischer J, et al. (January 2012). "Early allo-SCT for AML with a complex aberrant karyotype—results from a prospective pilot study". Bone Marrow Transplantation. 47 (1): 46–53. doi:10.1038/bmt.2011.15. PMID 21358688. 
  12. ^ Zohren F, Czibere A, Bruns I, et al. (December 2009). "Fludarabine, amsacrine, high-dose cytarabine and 12 Gy total body irradiation followed by allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is effective in patients with relapsed or high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia". Bone Marrow Transplantation. 44 (12): 785–92. doi:10.1038/bmt.2009.83. PMID 19430496. 
  13. ^ Schmid C, Weisser M, Ledderose G, Stötzer O, Schleuning M, Kolb HJ (October 2002). "[Dose-reduced conditioning before allogeneic stem cell transplantation: principles, clinical protocols and preliminary results]". Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift (in German). 127 (42): 2186–92. doi:10.1055/s-2002-34946. PMID 12397547.