Papers And Originals

Hydroxyurea, Leucopheresis, and Splenectomy in Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia at the Problastic Phase

Br Med J 1973; 1 doi: (Published 24 March 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;1:700
  1. L. Schwarzenberg,
  2. G. Mathé,
  3. P. Pouillart,
  4. R. Weiner,
  5. J. Locour,
  6. J. Genin,
  7. M. Schneider,
  8. Françoise De Vassal,
  9. M. Hayat,
  10. J. L. Amiel,
  11. J. R. Schlumberger,
  12. C. Jasmin,
  13. C. Rosenfeld


    Forty-three patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia have been treated with hydroxyurea in order to be subjected to leucopheresis for white cell transfusions. Hydroxyurea decreases leucocytosis when it is administered and the blood granulocyte number increases soon after the drug is stopped. The survival of the patients is not different from the survival of the patients treated with conventional chemotherapy (busulphan, mitobronitol) and it is superior to the survival of patients treated with external radiotherapy or with 32P. Half of the patients were subjected to splenectomy during first remission for a phase II trial. They were not randomized, but the distribution according to age was similar in the two groups. A slight difference appears in favour of splenectomy so far as survival is concerned, but there were three post-operative deaths out of 18 patients. We conclude that a phase II trial on the value of splenectomy is indicated ethically, but that the patients should be operated on and nursed in a microbiologically controlled environment.