• Large granular lymphocyte leukemia: natural history and response to treatment.

      Fortune, Anne F; Kelly, Kevin; Sargent, Jeremy; O'Brien, David; Quinn, Fiona; Chadwick, Nick; Flynn, Catherine; Conneally, Eibhlin; Browne, Paul; Crotty, Gerard M; et al. (2012-02-01)
      Large granular lymphocyte leukemia (T-LGL) is an indolent T lymphoproliferative disorder that was difficult to diagnose with certainty until clonality testing of the T cell receptor gene became routinely available. We studied the natural history and response to treatment in 25 consecutive patients with T-LGL diagnosed between 2004 and 2008 in which the diagnosis was confirmed by molecular analysis, to define an effective treatment algorithm. The median age at diagnosis was 61 years (range 27-78), with a male to female ratio of 1:1.8 and presenting features of fatigue (n = 13), recurrent infections (n = 9), and/or abnormal blood counts (n = 5). Thirteen patients with symptomatic disease were treated as follows: pentostatin (nine patients), cyclosporine (six patients), methotrexate (three patients), and alemtuzumab in two patients in whom pentostatin was ineffective. Pentostatin was the single most effective therapy, with a response rate of 75% and minimal toxicity. The overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) 37 months from diagnosis were 80% and 52%, respectively. Treatment of T-LGL should be reserved for patients with symptomatic disease, but in this series, pentostatin treatment was less toxic and more effective than cyclosporine or methotrexate.