Phase II study of pentostatin in patients with corticosteroid-refractory chronic graft-versus-host disease

David A. Jacobsohn, Allen R. Chen, Marianna Zahurak, Steven Piantadosi, Viki Anders, Javier Bolaños-Meade, Meghan Higman, Jeffrey Margolis, Michele Raup, Georgia B. Vogelsang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Purpose: Therapy for patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) is based on prolonged immunosuppression with corticosteroids. There is no standard therapy for patients whose cGVHD does not resolve with corticosteroid treatment. Pentostatin, a potent inhibitor of adenosine deaminase, has activity in acute GVHD. We examined the toxicity and efficacy of pentostatin in a prospective phase II trial in corticosteroid-refractory cGVHD. Patients and Methods: Patients of any age were eligible. Patients received pentostatin 4 mg/m2 intravenously every 2 weeks for 12 doses, and continued therapy as long as benefit was documented. Corticosteroid taper was begun after three doses of pentostatin. Responses were graded in real time in the skin, mouth, and liver using objective response criteria. Results: Fifty-eight heavily pretreated (median, four prior regimens) patients (median age, 33 years) were enrolled. Results are shown as an intent-to-treat analysis. Of the 58 patients, a total of 32 (55%; 95% CI, 42% to 68%) had an objective response, as evaluated by use of a new grading scale. Infection was the most significant toxicity, with 11 grade 3 to 4 infectious events. The survival at 1 and 2 years was 78% (95% CI, 64% to 86%) and 70% (95% CI, 57% to 80%), with cGVHD with/without infection accounting for the majority of deaths. Conclusion: Pentostatin has immunosuppressive effects that are currently being explored further for treatment of cGVHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4255-4261
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number27
StatePublished - Sep 20 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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