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Efficacy and safety of nelarabine in patients with relapsed or refractory T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Kathpalia, Meghavi; Mishra, Pinki; Bajpai, Ram; Bhurani, Dinesh; Agarwal, Nidhi


Meghavi Kathpalia

Pinki Mishra

Dinesh Bhurani

Nidhi Agarwal


Nelarabine is approved for the treatment of relapsed/refractory (R/R) T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) patients who relapse following at least two different chemotherapy regimens. Previous studies have evaluated the efficacy and safety of nelarabine with chemotherapy in the treatment of R/R T-ALL. However, the results are inconsistent. This review aimed to summarize findings on efficacy and safety data in R/R T-ALL patients administered with the drug nelarabine. The present review conducted a comprehensive search of MEDLINE (via PubMed), WHO Clinical Trial Registry, Clinical, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials until 15 January 2022. Thirteen studies fulfilled the eligibility criteria with a total of 2508 patients. The efficacy of nelarabine was studied in terms of complete remission (CR) and partial remission (PR). Included studies reported overall random-effects pooled prevalence of CR and PR were 37.2 (95% CI: 22.8, 51.5) and 10.2 (95% CI: 4.9, 15.5), respectively. Most common adverse events associated with nelarabine were neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, fatigue, infections, and reversible peripheral neuropathy. Nelarabine is being used as salvage therapy as a bridge to hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and the findings of this meta-analysis indicate that it is an effective and safe treatment to be used in addition to the first-line treatment for R/R T-ALL.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Jun 6, 2022
Online Publication Date Jun 21, 2022
Publication Date 2022-08
Print ISSN 0939-5555
Publisher Springer Verlag
Volume 101
Issue 8
Pages 1655-1666
Publisher URL